In this chapter I shall review several themes of Rockwell's socio-economic policy and their relationship to his brand of American fascism. It can be shown that Rockwell's social-economic ideas diverge from German Nazi principles and have similarities to American populism, not to mention 1930's American fascism. This chapter also illustrates the divergence of the post-Rockwell Nazis from the principles of Rockwell's neo-fascist synthesis - and helps to explain the consequent political irrelevancy of the movement. The chapter also contends that the post-Rockwell Nazis shared the usual U.S. Extreme Right contempt for social-economic theory in favour of racial and conspiracy doctrine; Rockwell, again appears as an original contributor to American fascism.
(a) German Nazi Social Ideology
All U.S. Nazis have called the Third Reich a laboratory experiment in the creation of a new social order. (1) The overall thrust of Nazi propaganda implied that the German Nazi model could be applied to the United States. However from the early Rockwell movement through to the later Nazi period, U.S. Nazi propaganda has analysed the German model in a very impressionistic fashion. Nazi journals have featured photographs of Nuremberg rallies with their endless
1. Matt Koehl, The White Man's Viewpoint, Arlington, NSWPP tape recording, 1975.
files of massed brownshirts, the awesome power of the marching columns, and on the podium, the ordinary worker, Adolf Hitler. Such photographs have often been contrasted with images of Woodstock, drug addicts and radical student activists - alleged aspects of American degeneracy. (2) However, despite their pretension to understand the marvels of German fascism, the U.S. Nazis have scarcely attempted a serious examination of the social geography of the Third Reich.
Rockwell, for example, believed that Hitler had forged a socialist society based on immutable biological principles. This socialist society defeated in practice the claims of the communists to represent the working class. However Rockwell observed that most of the great German industrialists were not "deprived of their private property." (3) Hitler's socialist ideology exhorted the workers "to be socialists for Germany" in some variety of co-ordinated economic structure but somehow left scope for private enterprise. While Rockwell never indicated how Hitler's "socialism" reflected the basic precepts of Nazi ideology, Matt Koehl made some effort in this direction.
In his Some Guidelines To The Development Of The National Socialist Movement, Koehl showed that he was aware of conflict within German fascism on the issue of socialism, but he explained it away. According to Koehl, there was no real difference between Joseph Goebbels with his urban-
2. White Power, No. 90, March 1979, p. 4.
3. George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power, Dallas, 1967, p. 237.
proletarian orientation and Walther Darre, the Nazi Agricultural Minister, who expressed his faith in sturdy peasants and ruralism. Koehl insisted on the unitary nature of German Nazism. (4) Koehl however decided that National Socialism was a racial doctrine not an ideology concerned with socioeconomic reform. In Some Guidelines Koehl chastised those who may urge a social-revolutionary policy by equating this with a heresy of the German Nazi movement - National Bolshevism. Koehl wrote:
Characterised by a preoccupation with socioeconomics and displaying marked equalitarian tendencies while minimising the importance of racial and spiritual values this doctrine is little more than a modified form of Marxism stripped of its customary international implications. (5)
This statement precluded much political work on social-economic themes; no loyal party follower could risk the accusation of National Bolshevism. Certainly Koehi's party, like Rockwell's, ignored the revolutionary nature of German National Socialism. It may be this misanalysis of German fascism that permitted the emergence of the neo-nazi movement in the first place: the neo-nazis may have been searching for a complete ideology, a racist faith to counterpose to Marxism. This violated the principle of fascism - that ideology is created in the process of struggle.
4. Matt Koehl, Some Guidelines For The Development Of The National Socialist Movement, Arlington, 1969, p. 7.
5. ibid., p. 9.
The U.S. Nazis (and the European neo-nazis as well) did not realise (or accept?) that German National Socialism was part of an European tendency towards syncretisation of nationalism and socialism. The fusion had an unstable quality; since a broad propagandist party would attract diverse elements the NSDAP found itself composed of hardened social revolutionaries centrist populists and right-wing monarchist-reactionaries. (6) Hitler stood in the centre, uniting the two extremes around his person. The NSDAP suffered many rebellions from the Left: firstly at the Bamberg Conference of 1926, with Walther Stennes's radical stormtroopers in 1931 and lastly with the leader of the stormtroopers, Ernst Roehm, in 1934. Hitler had trouble with the party's conservative Right, in Bavaria in 1923-24, and in the Cabinet in 1934. Hitler also had difficulties with the traditional right-wing groups such as the National People's Party. In other words, the NSDAP had definite lobby groups within it and right-wing critics outside who adhered to the regime only in 1933-34. Ostensibly, of course, all these factions proclaimed their loyalty to the "unalterable 25 points" of the party (testament to the catch-all character of fascism) but clearly Nazi policy was interpreted differently by party in-groups. The attempt to implement the programme initiated a revolutionary process. David Schoenbaum in his Hitler's Social Revolution has illustrated that the development of the Nazi revolution overturned previous ideological fixations. The medievalist
6. John Toland, Adolf Hitler, New York, 1976, pp. 241-43.
Darre was pushed out and Germany continued to urbanise. Hermann Rauschning in his Revolution of Nihilism maintained that after making concessions to the bourgeoisie (1933-35) the Nazi regime opted to contine the National Revolution towards the collectivisation of industry and large slices of private property. As far as Rauschning, a renegade exiled gauleiter, was concerned, the Nazi revolution was a socialist revolution. (8) In 1937-38 the Nazis purged conservative elements: Von Papen, Von Neurath, Hjalmar Schacht, Generals Frisch and von Blomberg. The war intensified the process of collectivisation and brought about a national socialism. (9)
However, the American Nazis, including Rockwell, saw Nazi Germany simply as a land of economic growth, full employment, interest free credit and an all-class enthusiasm for the regime. Hence, to accept their Nazi credentials on the face of superficial ideological or organisational similarities with German fascism would be incorrect.
(b) Rockwell's Programme
The American Nazi Party programme issued by Rockwell in 1960 contained the basic socio-economic ideas of the movement. It was a pithy document. Rockwell promised "Social
7. David Schoenbaum, Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany 1933-39, New York, 1967, pp. 239-41.
8. Hermann Rauschning, The Revolution of Nihilism: Warning to the West, New York, 1939, p. 85.
9. John Lukas, The Last European War, New York, 1976, pp. 284 - 96.
Sanity" which would protect workers "from any political exploitation by any individual and groups. (10) "Free medicine," free health care and free legal services with "all defense lawyers in criminal cases paid officers of the court," were additional planks. Rockwell promised to "abolish the Federal Reserve System... cancel all illegal debt resulting from the semi private issuance of interest bearing money and issue all currency solely by the National Government with no interest." The programme pledged to "eliminate speculation" and that monopolies "shall be owned only by the whole people." Drawing a distinction between monopoly capitalism and free enterpris6 Rockwell said: "The government will keep its hands off all honest enterprises, labor and farmers, so long as they do not coerce one another..."
The Nazi platform did echo the "unalterable programme" of the NSDAP. That programme had demanded the suppression of trusts, communalisation of department stores and support for middle-class enterprise, under the slogan: common interest before self-interest." (11) Rockwell's programme was similar, in that it demanded public control of big business and suppression of speculation, while encouraging the middle class. Similarly, Rockwell's economic ideas had something in common with the 1950's French phenomenon:
10. Programme Of The American Nazi Party, ANP leaflet, Arlington, date uncertain.
11. "Programme of the National Socialist German Worker's Party," cited in Gottfried Feder, The Programme Of The NSDAP And Its General Conceptions, Clwyd, 1980.
Poujadeism. Poujade had built a mass movement directed at monopoly capitalism, in favour of the "small man". (12) However, to place the programme in a more immediate context, a comparison between it and certain American fascist programmes would be beneficial. Rockwell's programme does have similarities with earlier U.S. fascist documents. Father Coughlin's 1935 programme of the National Union for Social Justice can be mentioned here. Coughlin advocated the suppression of the Reserve Bank, the nationalisation of monopolies and public utilities, along with civil construction programmes and profit limitation. (13) Lipset and Raab described Coughlin as a protagonist of a type of proletarian fascism. (14) Coughlin's working class base and his appeal to the dispossessed may have supported such a conclusion. Raymond Swing concurred with Lipset and Raab, styling Coughlin a left-wing fascist. (15) For Swing, Coughlin's direct appeal to the unemployed and the city workers placed him apart from the patrician Right. Rockwell shared with the radio priest the denunciation by the traditional Right for "socialism" -or even communist sympathies.
Rockwell's appeal, like Coughlin's was always to the mass. He maintained that his Chicago activities (i966-67)
12. Mario Giovanna and Angelo del Boca, Fascism Today: A World Survey, London, 1970, p. 186.
13. Father Coughlin: The Tumultuous Life of the Priest of the Lit11tle Flower, Boston, 1973, passim.
14. Seymour Lipset and Earl Raab, The Politics of Unreason: Right-Wing Extremism In America 1790 - 1970, New York,1970, p. 178.
15. R. Swing, Forerunners of Fascism, New York, 1969, pp. 35-60.
mobilised the ordinary workers "the guts of the New Deal, the Fair Deal... (16) Like Coughlin, Rockwell moved towards a demagogic style tailored to political circumstances. Whereas Father Coughlin saw in Depression America an opportunity to construct a mass popular movement, Rockwell located his chance in popular reaction against the turmoil of the New Left agitation and the civil rights movement. For Rockwell it was axiomatic that a mass movement needed a popular economic programme. In White Power he reasoned:
It is to the benefit of society to have a happy satisfied and healthy working population... When naked capitalism forgets this, which it does, and says 'let the common man look out for himself' (as much of the shortsighted reactionary class does) it cuts itself off from the mass support of its own people, as does the John Birch Society and most of the rest of the conservative movement - which is why the conservative movement is so pitifully powerless. (17)
This statement also indicated that Rockwell was in favour of some sort of reformed social-capitalism. Further, Rockwell believed that some sort of socialist principle had always existed in America:
The shortsighted reactionary conservatives are forever harking back to the self-sufficient days of pioneering individualistic America, pretending to themselves that there was no socialism in these golden days. (18)
There were times, Rockwell went on to argue, when energy had to be directed to social enterprises and social needs.
16. George Lincoln Rockwell, "White Masses ReadyFor Action," Rockwell Report, January 1967, p. 3.
17. George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power, pp. 239-40.
18. ibid, p. 239.
Even so, he lauded aspects of "free enterprise" and free bargaining to obtain efficiency without bureaucratic controls. (19)
In 1959, the WUNS was founded as the WUFENS: World Union of Free Enterprise National Socialists. In White Power, Rockwell explained thatcapitalism was an abstraction based on pure profit seeking devoid of commitment to actual production and satisfaction of social needs. (20) Capitalism also represented the domination of speculative finance capital over productive manufacturing. Rockwell made these themes one aspect of his major address to Dallas conservatives in 1966; here, the idea was that capitalism was an evil, but free enterprise, a social good. At this Dallas meeting he also suggested that Hitler's socialism, like his own was a tactical ruse to gain support. Hitler, he said, had understood how:
... the mass must be entertained with soft soap and garbage. I am not in any sense a socialist. However, the common man is our people and he has been stolen from us... you cannot fight labour... but we've got to get rid of class. (21)
Such comments could be construed as smacking of opportunism. Even so Rockwell's world-view was an integrated one: each element of his fascist ideology was related to the others. A socialist programme could win the poor, thereby mobilising them to support the right-wing's campaign to rescue the racial
19. ibid, p. 239.
20. ibid, pp. 216-18.
21. George Lincoln Rockwell, Dallas Speech to Birchers, Arlington, ANP recording, 1966.
and constitutional integrity of America. Since his socialism was not Marxist in inspiration conservatives could donate to Rockwell's organisation and still maintain their support for private enterprise. This was the classical technique of fascism practised by Hitler and Mussolini. (22)
Rockwell's socialism had one other constituent element. It was based on particular sociological propositions upon which Rockwell elaborated several times. In his first book, This Time The World, he made references to the writings of Gustave Le Bon. (23) He provided an alternative to liberal-democratic and Marxist sociology.
According to Rockwell, he had, while still a student, rejected egalitarian doctrines of human nature and theories of environmental influences on the human psyche. Only later did he discover Le Bon and Robert Ardrey. These writers maintained the importance of collectivity in human social evolution. Le Bon wrote of the crowd psychology and how the "feminine crowd" responded to "masculine" leadership. (24) This was an essential part of Rockwell's leadership doctrine. Americans were weak and feminine; the men had lost masculine strength both in social and sexual relations. Rockwell believed himself a "strong leader"
22. In Hitler, Joachim Fest established this fusion of ideas as the essential successful recipe for the fascist movements.
23. George Lincoln Rockwell, This Time The World, p. 65.
24. Gustave Le Bon's major works were, The Crowd, and The Psychology of Socialism. These works clearly inspired parts of Mein Kampf.
figure, able to "put steel in the backbones of American white people." (25) Robert Ardrey's ideas complemented these precepts.
Ardrey, author of works like The Territorial Imperitive and African Genesis, developed ideas which became central to Rockwell's social or biological Darwinism. (26) Races competed, Rockwell argued. Society was a battle for dominance amongst competing groups. The nature of this competition was rooted in mankind's animal past. In Rockwell's principles for a new society, Ardrey's influence was obvious. (27) Mankind was territorial aggressive, tribal and patriarchal. Liberalism was "sinning against nature" in postulating the opposite. From this followed every tribe's desire for "biological integrity," "territory," "motherhood for females" and "leadership." Rockwell's "tribe was the "white Christian American" group of his propaganda; his territoriality was that of the "American Constitutional Republic"; its "biological integrity" was the "preservation of the white race"; the leadership it required would come from a "father figure" whom the masses "needed." To Rockwell, the great father figures George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were
25. George Lincoln Rockwell, Washington Mall Speech June 1960, Chicago, NSPP recording, 1975. 26. George Lincoln Rockwell, unspecified radio interview, Nazi Rockwell, Oakleaf Records, Sausalito, 1975. 27.George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power, Dallas, 1967, passim, esp. the chapter, "National Socialism." This chapter makes little reference to Hitler's Nazism as the pivot for Rockwell's social ideology. 28. ibid., p. 447. The "five laws of the tribe" (Biological Integrity, Territory, Leadership, Status, Motherhood) were taken from Ardrey. Rockwell explained their importance within a social-Darwinian concept: racial struggle.
the models he sought to emulate.
Lastly, Rockwell was conscious, as a propagandist, of the important role of political mythology in the mobilisation of the masses. Rockwell detected in various aspects of the American past sufficient material to create a Sorelian "myth." Images of the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Alamo and references to Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh were part of the Nazi propaganda. In other words Rockwell not only placed himself in the native anti-semitic and nationalist tradition, but also in the context of American history.
(c) Rockwell And The Populist Style
Victor Ferkiss has attempted to show that American fascism partly derived from the Populism of the 1890's and the Populist style generally. Ferkiss marked tenuous lines of descent from 1890's Populism in North Dakota down to the Non Partisan League of 1920 - which included in its membership Charles Lindberg Snr., and William Lemke. Ferkiss argued that native fascism in the 1930's was markedly stronger in rural areas such as North Carolina where William Dudley Pelley's Silver Shirt Legion was formed, an area of strong populist sentiment. For Ferkiss, American fascism was also an expression of Americanist passion and an attempt to restore the idyllic American Republic where there were few
29. George Lincoln Rockwell, "Our Fascist Founding Fathers," Rockwell Report, publication details unknown. Copy in author's possession.
barriers between strong leaders and the great mass of the people. Ferkiss alludes to the Populists as men of that tradition. (30)
Morris Schonbach also drew broadly similar conclusions in his thesis "Native Fascism During The 1930's and 1940's." Schonbach argued that American fascism had deep roots in the American nativism of the 1920's (and before). For its economic policies American fascism drew upon the monetary reform tradition of the Greenback Movement, Free Silver and Social Credit. For a spiritual basis U.S. fascism railed against the bankers' conspiracy centred in the eastern states and. plots against the true American spirit of enterprise and productive labour. In that way American fascism was akin to Populism. (31)Richard Hofstadter went beyond Ferkiss and Schonbach in his work on political irrationality in the United States. Hofstadter' 5 analysis posited that Populism was symptomatic of the "paranoid style" in American politics.(32) American fascism, along with the Ku Klux Klan and McCarthyist Republicans, were also held to be irrationalist in tone. In Hofstadter's system there would be no difficulty in asserting a connection between the styles of Populism,
30. Victor Ferkiss, "Populist Influences on American Fascism," Western Political Quarterly, June 1957,pp. 350-70;"Ezra Pound and American Fascism," Journal of Politics, Vol. 17, May 1956, pp. 174-95.
31. Morris Schonbach, "Native Fascism During The 1930's And 1940's: A Study Of Its Roots, Its Growth, Its Decline," Ph.D. thesis, Department of History, University of California, 1958, passim.
32. Richard Hofstadter, The Paranoid Style In American Politics And Other Essays, New York, 1967.
1930's native fascism and the Rockwell movement; the three movements would exhibit ethnocentric intolerance, paranoid fear of the capitalist elites and irrational political behaviour.
It would of course be excessive to assert any sort of direct link between the Rockwell movement with its attendant pecularities and 1890's Populism. It may be true that Rockwell exhibited tendencies expressive of the 1930's native fascism and that native fascism shared aspects of Populism's ideological position. However, these few aspects of common style, temperament and ideology do place Rockwell within the American, rather than copyist-European, tradition. Some other similarities can also be examined. Norman Pollack says of Populism: "it accepted industrialism but opposed its capitalistic form, seeking instead a more equitable distribution of wealth." (33) That point as we have seen reappeared in Rockwell's manifesto, White Power. For Rockwell a rigorous socialism was not necessary if the government took up the defence of social rights. Further, Pollack quoted Populist Governor of Kansas, Lewelling, as arguing: "It is the business of government to protect the weak because the strong are able to defend themselves." (34)
In Rockwell's fascism, the state was recognised as the arbiter of community and economic disputes. The evolution of some sort of "statism" on the American Right
33. Norman Pollack, The Populist Response To Industrial America: Midwestern Populist Thought, Boston, 1962, p.12.
34. ibid, p. 18.
was slow and torturous. Ferkiss records that Father Coughlin was an advocate of this position and the same point has been made of Lawrence Dennis. (35) While, by contrast with European fascism (and proto fascism), the state was not endowed with mystical or transcendental qualities, it was nonetheless regarded as essential to American fascists. This idea differentiates fascists from right-wing advocates of individual freedom and those who saw in the state regulation of New Dealism an assault on economic liberty. Populism had distanced itself from the Republican Party's rugged individualism in the 1890's; American fascism was also addressing itself to the problems caused by unbridled capitalism.
In the 1960's situation Rockwell found himself pitted against Senator Barry Goldwater and George Wallace. Both men were opposed to "federal power" and restraint on free enterprise. (36) On both these points they were criticised by the U.S. Nazis. During the 1930's Father Coughlin had said of capitalistic free enterprise: "Therefore it is the business of government not only to legislate for minimum wagesand a maximum working schedule... but also to curtail individualism. (37) Lawrence Dennis in his Is Capitalism Doomed? saw only in "organisation" and "planning" an answer
35. Arthur M. Schlesinger, The Politics of Upheaval, Boston, 1960, pp. 26-27.
36. James McEvoy III, "Radicals Or Conservatives?: The Contemporary American Right," University of California Ph.D. thesis, 1971, passim.
37. Sheldon Marcus, Father Coughlin: The Tumultuous Life Of The Priest Of The Little Flower, Boston, 1972. Marcus sets out Coughlin's programme and explains the points in considerable detail.
to the problems of individualistic capitalism. (38) These areas of common agreement between Populism, and 1930's and 1960's American fascism are certainly broad. We cannot say that ideas were passed on from first to last. In large measure they arose separately as a response to a particular crisis in the industrial-political order. But even though in many areas these movements referred to were distinct, there existed one very specific area of ideology where agreement was more than vague, and a direct line of lineal descent can be seen. This was the area of money reform.
The Populist programme called for "the issue of all money needed, by the federal government. (39) Coughlin urged that "... the right to coin and regulate the value of money must be restored to Congress. (40) La Follette's National Progressive Party of the 1930's had its Congressional representatives assail the privately controlled Federal Reserve System. (41) Rockwell's programme was also most emphatic on the issue of Congressional control of the money supply. In the field of literature, the writer Ezra Pound centred his own peculiar 1920's-40's brand of fascism on the cancer of bank created money - "usury". (42)
American Populism was not the first to catch onto the notion that capitalism often suffered from a shortage
38. Lawrence Dennis, Is Capitalism Doomed?, New York, 1932, passim.
39. Pollack, op. cit., p. 124.
40. Marcus, op. cit., p. 72.
41. Duprat and Renault, op. cit., p. 110.
42. Ezra Pound, Jefferson and/or Mussolini, Metarie, 1975, passim. Pound's poetry also reflects this position.
in the money supply. The Granger and Greenback movements of the 1870's saw the same problem, as did the advocates of Free Silver.
In North Dakota during the Great War there emerged a Non Partisan League which energetically pushed for money reforms. This particular body indluded in its membership William Lemke and the father of Charles Lindbergh. The movement was supported by farmers living under pressure from the banks. (43) The goal was, as always, credit without interest, cheap money, the elimination of a form of mercantile par~sitism which fed on productive enterprise. Just as Populism condemned usurers for living off the productive classes, so did the Non Partisan League, La Follette, Coughlin, Dennis and Rockwell.
One further casual connection between Populism and the Rockwell movement can be mentioned. Populist leaders and American fascist leaders generally, like many other American political leaders, had embraced the demagogic style. Tom Watson and Ben Tillman were Populism's platform orators. Their effectiveness lay in the power to simplify complex ideas, to appeal to the common man by their identification with American nativist fears and aversion to anonymous financial forces centred in the eastern states. Huey Long continued this tradition during the Depression. Broadly speaking, this tendency for demagogy manifested itself
43. Edward Blackorby, Prairie Rebel: The Public Life Of William Lemke, Lincoln, 1963,describes how Lemke's roots in this farmer agitation had a quality which led him to a quasi-fascist position in the 1930's.
in times when the American Dream, or American institutions were under challenge. Generally, this tendency has been on the political right, though in the Populists' case, it could also be observed. The Rockwell movement with its charismatic leader, its cheap-money theories, its nativist racism, its populist economics would be part of this trend.
(e) The Post Rockwell Nazi And Social-Economic Policy
As explained in Chapter Three, the post-Rockwell Nazis were left with a movement with some popular support. As the most radical exponents of political racism the Nazis were keen to orientate themselves to various social movements. In this way they might broaden the base of their support. In contrast to Rockwell's more popular and non-specific socialism" the later U.S. Nazis opted to build the party through issue-orientation. Two illustrations of this policy may be mentioned.
The first was the attempt by the NSWPP to make capital out of the Hard Hat movement. Whereas Rockwell's propaganda efforts se~ved his tactical goals and assumed the need to win over Americans through energetic mass work, the NSWPP attempted to dictate to the Hard Hat "future mass base of the movement" as the sect does to the heathen. (44) The NSWPP attempted to introduce certain ideas into a mass movement already in existence, but its paper, White Power
44. "U.S. Unemployment Jumps," White Power, No. 10, November-December, 1969, p. 1.
for example had nothing to offer the Hard Hats - except predictions of economic downturn and job competition from Negroes. (45)
The second area for U.S. Nazi agitation concerned agriculture. Published at the time of particular rural difficulties in America was "The Nazi Agricultural Program: Blood And Soil" which appeared in The New Order. (46) Whether or not copies of this piece were actually distributed to American farmers is unknown. More probably, the text was designed to appeal to youthful potential-recruits who might like to detect 'idealism' within the American Nazi phenomenon. The Nazis said:
'Blood' then means that rural areas are not only the source of food but also the source of strong intelligent and brave people who can maintain the life of the Race and the Nation. (47)
The problem on the land was agribusiness which spawned a class of middlemen (often Jews). American "yeomen"were being driven off the land - in contrast to the Nazi peasantry in the 1930's:
The National Socialist laws on Hereditary Homesteads the farmers syndicate for marketing and parcelisation of feudal lands are all valid reforms and all desperately needed in the U.S. (48)
Speaking of the potential of the NSPA, the article continued:
45 White Power, No. 10, November-December 1969, p. 1.
46. Conrad Eric Volmar, "The Nazi Agricultural Programme: Blood And Soil," The New Order, No. 13, April - May 1978, pp. 8, 9, 15.
The present agricultural disaster offers the Nazi movement a singular opportunity to influence a major sector of the population... we shall systematically review these things 1. What the German situation was 2. What The Nazi solution was 3. What the~results were. (49)
To imagine U.S. farmers would embrace an American Nazi party on the basis of alleged successes in 1930's German agricultural policy was more than unreal. Indeed this argument illustrates the major characteristic of post-Rockwell Nazism: its drift into political irrelevance.
American Nazi social-economic pronouncements were not based on a rigorous analysis of German National Socialist theory and practice. Rockwell saw in German Nazism only that which justified his own populist conception of social reform. He elaborated a very simple social-economic platform which was certainly in the tradition of American fascist policies of the 1930's and was a part of his plan to mobilise popular support for the racial-patriotic cause. His social theory nonetheless was connected to a more rigorous system promulgated by major authorities like Le Bon and Ardrey, but also expressed in America by Lothrop Stoddard, another Rockwell reference point. Rockwell has also been located within the American tradition as a practitioner of the Populist style - even if his connection with historical Populism was through a broken descent from certain elements of that movement. Rockwell remained a simplifier, a man of
the common man (like Watson, Long and Coughlin) opposed to the Eastern Establishment and its plutocratic political system. He managed to fuse together the populist style with a new nativism thereby creating a new American fascism. This achievement was contrasted with the post-Rockwell Nazi movement which examined American social reality in the context of Weimar Germany.
Rockwell can therefore be seen as an American phenomenon, with an American programme, rooted in American traditions and prejudices.