Skip to comments.Were Nazis Right-Wing?
Posted on 04/19/2010 2:12:06 PM PDT by AJKauf
The worst thing about the passage that I have quoted is its apparent endorsement, or uncritical acceptance, of Freuds characterization of the Nazis as right-wing. This seems to me simplistic to the point of dishonesty, or at least symptomatic of a desire that complex social and political realities should be located on an analogue scale from right to left or left to right. If such a scale must be used, it seems to me that there is as much, if not more, reason to place Nazism on the left of it rather than on the right.
Not that this would be satisfactory, far from it. As Bishop Butler said, every thing is what it is and not another thing; Nazism was what it was and not another thing. If it could not, and cannot, be fitted neatly on to a political analogue scale, so much the worse for the scale. To change the figure of speech, we must not construct Procrustean conceptual beds.
Does it matter, however, if Nazism being what it was and not another thing is routinely characterized as being right-wing? I think that it does matter, for the following reason. There is a false syllogism that has a profound psychological effect:
* Nazism was right-wing. * Conservatism is right-wing. * Therefore Nazism was conservative and conservatism is Nazi. ....
(Excerpt) Read more at pajamasmedia.com ...
They were socialists
Exactly ... National Socialists.
NO they were totalitarian government controlling leftists.
I once read an essay on NAZI economics and they were definitely not believers in free markets and private property.
THERE’S NOTHING RIGHT-WING ABOUT NAZIS.
Who the heck started that lie anyway?
I believe this erroneous premise is the basis for much of Jewish antipathy toward conservatives and conservatism despite its support of Israel.
According to the lyrics of the Nazi “Horst Wessel Lied”, the Nazis were fighting against “reactionaries”:
So I guess the Nazis were NOT right-wing!
Well, their policy of extermination of a portion of humanity by defining them as sub-human certainly sounds like something the leftists at Planned Parenthood would applaud.
National Socialists. Trust in conservative principles and you can’t go wrong. Trust in socialism and you get Hitler and Stalin.
Marxism and Nazism are routinely described as left and right extremes of a continuum. I describe them as two sides of a single coin. The notion that we are perched precariously on some slippery slope between these two extremes is a false one. We are not on that continuum at all. Between fascism and communism, Nazism and Stalinism you will find every variety of mutation and amalgam, most totalitarians are really an amalgam of the two with a healthy shot of mafia thrown in for good measure. Socialists are the less-violent cousins to the fascists and communists but there is no bright line to separate them; they are the ones perched on a slippery slope with no clear barrier.
We’re constitutionalists, classic liberals, republicans. We are their polar opposites, in fact its hard even to speak of us as being their opposites when it is more correct to say that we are a different genus altogether. Freedom is our DNA. Control is theirs.
State Control of Industry
(and anti-Israel, before there even was a post-1948 Israel).
They were Socialists....like the current POTUS.
Calling Nazi’s right-wing was a myth started in the first half of the 20th century when it was clear that they were in heated competition with the Communists. They were enemies in pre-Hitler Germany and fighting would break out between the two groups. The popular thinking seemed to be that since Communists were clearly on the left, then those fighting with them must be from the right. Of course, a similar line of reasoning would put Trotsky on the right, which doesn’t fit at all.
No! It is a common misconception.
The political spectrum is a circle. The far left and the far right are the same place. They are socialists.
Democracies, all of the left, all collapse due to instability, or morph to the only known examples extant of dictatorships, oligarchies, socialist, communist or fascist states. Only a handful have evolved to a Constitutional Republic..eg..Honduras.
The US founders SPECIFICALLY REJECTED DEMOCRACY as a model, and carefully established what history has proven as the superior model, if, as Franklin noted it can be kept. Democrat insistence on Democracy is not reassuring, and becoming demonstrably unreassuringly so.
A wonderful piece on the social contract of a Constitutional Republic. There is a big discrepancy today:
A better continuum has “statists” at one end, “libertarians” and “anarchists” at the other, and “constitutionalists” in the middle.
The reality is that many self-described anarchists are really statists. They just REALLY don’t like the current state.
International Communists and National Socialists were enemies in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s ... then during WWII, Stalin and Hitler were enemies. Hitler was eventually destroyed and his legacy discredited.
Why were Commies and Nazis enemies?
Not because they were ideological opponents. In fact, they were two diseased peas out of the same poisonous pod.
Nazis and Commies were enemies because bloody-minded, bloody-handed, mass-murdering totalitarian bastards don't like competition.
LEFTISTS! They killed Jews, eastern Slavs, and Russians like the left kills babies today.
Both the NAZI's and our present day socialists are anti semite
And anti anyone who disagrees with them.
Who cares what some coke head who thinks everybody wants to have sex with their mother says ?. You would have to be crazy to go to a psychiatrist anyway .
It is not the same guy ? I don't want to hear it , they're are all the same to me . Rats like to cite krauts saying like to say , " You see Hitler really wasn't like the rest of us Germans at all , he was actually more like more the American Conservatives ".
beck has his right wing socialism wrong....
Right-wing socialism? LOL
They were National Socialists. The clearest modern manifestation is Barrack Obama.
Calling Nazis “right-wing” was the biggest piece of disinformation that was EVER unleashed upon the world.
FDR’s New Deal was even more “progressive” than the Nazis, whose biggest mistake seems to have been that they were such good bookkeepers, so every atrocity, every state-sanctioned crime, every tally of what was warehoused so meticulously, was there to be used as evidence AGAINST them at the Nuremburg trials.
The New Deal was blessed by being manned by rank political novices who couldn’t even keep rudimentary records in many instances, or whose memories could be so faulty on so many things.
It was just that the Nazis had about a 50-year head start on their “paternalistic” policies, such as Social Security, full health benefits for the working class, union organization, and the management of industry by government direction.
So if we are comparing regimes, FDR was MUCH closer to Adolf Hitler than even the most rabid Soviet apologist would dare imagine.
Actually Joseph Stalin was the first to call NAZI’s right wing conservatives.
There is a great paper conserning NAZI’s on mises.org.
"The Party is all-embracing. It rules our lives in all their breadth and depth. We must therefore develop branches of the Party in which the whole of individual life will be reflected. Each activity and each need of the individual will thereby be regulated by the Party as the representative of the general good. There will be no license, no free space, in which the individual belongs to himself. This is Socialism - not such trifles as the private means of production. Of what importance is that if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the Party, is supreme over them, regardless whether they are owners or workers. All that, you see, is unessential. Our Socialism goes far deeper..."
"The people about us are unaware of what is really happening to them. The gaze fascinated at one or two superficialities, such as possessions and income or rank and other outworn conceptions. As long as these are kept intact, they are quite satisfied. But in the meantime, they have entered a new relation; a powerful social force has caught them up. They themselves are changed. What are ownership and income to that? Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings."
Adolph Hitler - Rauschning, The Voice of Destruction pp 191-193
Perfect . Very well put . Your economy of words will get your message through to more people than those who sell their books by the truck load.
National SOCIALIST WORKERS Party
Mises Daily: Monday, September 28, 1998 by Ralph Reiland
In 1944, Ludwig von Mises published one of his least-known masterworks: Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War. Drawing on his prewar experience in Vienna, watching the rise of the national socialists in Germany (the Nazis), who would eventually take over his own homeland, he set out to draw parallels between the Russian and German experience with socialism.
It was common in those days, as it is in ours, to identify the Communists as leftist and the Nazis as rightists, as if they stood on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. But Mises knew differently. They both sported the same ideological pedigree of socialism. “The German and Russian systems of socialism have in common the fact that the government has full control of the means of production. It decides what shall be produced and how. It allots to each individual a share of consumer’s goods for his consumption.”
The difference between the systems, wrote Mises, is that the German pattern “maintains private ownership of the means of production and keeps the appearance of ordinary prices, wages, and markets.” But in fact the government directs production decisions, curbs entrepreneurship and the labor market, and determines wages and interest rates by central authority. “Market exchange,” says Mises, “is only a sham.”
Mises’s account is confirmed by a remarkable book that appeared in 1939, published by Vanguard Press in New York City (and unfortunately out of print today). It is The Vampire Economy: Doing Business Under Fascism by Guenter Reimann, then a 35-year old German writer. Through contacts with German business owners, Reimann documented how the “monster machine” of the Nazis crushed the autonomy of the private sector through onerous regulations, harsh inspections, and the threat of confiscatory fines for petty offenses.
“Industrialists were visited by state auditors who had strict orders to examine the balance sheets and all bookkeeping entries of the company or individual businessman for the preceding two, three or more years until some error or false entry was found,” explains Reimann. “The slightest formal mistake was punished with tremendous penalties. A fine of millions of marks was imposed for a single bookkeeping error.”
Reimann quotes from a businessman’s letter: “You have no idea how far state control goes and how much power the Nazi representatives have over our work. The worst of it is that they are so ignorant. These Nazi radicals think of nothing except distributing the wealth.’ Some businessmen have even started studying Marxist theories, so that they will have a better understanding of the present economic system.
“While state representatives are busily engaged in investigating and interfering, our agents and salesmen are handicapped because they never know whether or not a sale at a higher price will mean denunciation as a profiteer’ or saboteur,’ followed by a prison sentence. You cannot imagine how taxation has increased. Yet everyone is afraid to complain. Everywhere there is a growing undercurrent of bitterness. Everyone has his doubts about the system, unless he is very young, very stupid, or is bound to it by the privileges he enjoys.
“There are terrible times coming. If only I had succeeded in smuggling out $10,000 or even $5,000, I would leave Germany with my family. Business friends of mine are convinced that it will be the turn of the white Jews’ (which means us, Aryan businessmen) after the Jews have been expropriated. The difference between this and the Russian system is much less than you think, despite the fact that we are still independent businessmen.”
As Mises says, “independent” only in a decorous sense. Under fascism, explains this businessman, the capitalist “must be servile to the representatives of the state” and “must not insist on rights, and must not behave as if his private property rights were still sacred.” It’s the businessman, characteristically independent, who is “most likely to get into trouble with the Gestapo for having grumbled incautiously.”
“Of all businessmen, the small shopkeeper is the one most under control and most at the mercy of the party,” recounts Reimann. “The party man, whose good will he must have, does not live in faraway Berlin; he lives right next door or right around the corner. This local Hitler gets a report every day on what is discussed in Herr Schultz’s bakery and Herr Schmidt’s butcher shop. He would regard these men as enemies of the state’ if they complained too much. That would mean, at the very least, the cutting of their quota of scarce and hence highly desirable goods, and it might mean the loss of their business licenses. Small shopkeepers and artisans are not to grumble.”
“Officials, trained only to obey orders, have neither the desire, the equipment, nor the vision to modify rules to suit individual situations,” Reimann explains. “The state bureaucrats, therefore, apply these laws rigidly and mechanically, without regard for the vital interests of essential parts of the national economy. Their only incentive to modify the letter of the law is in bribes from businessmen, who for their part use bribery as their only means of obtaining relief from a rigidity which they find crippling.”
Says another businessman: “Each business move has become very complicated and is full of legal traps which the average businessman cannot determine because there are so many new decrees. All of us in business are constantly in fear of being penalized for the violation of some decree or law.”
Business owners, explains another entrepreneur, cannot exist without a “collaborator,” i.e., a “lawyer” with good contacts in the Nazi bureaucracy, one who “knows exactly how far you can circumvent the law.” Nazi officials, explains Reimann, “obtain money for themselves by merely taking it from capitalists who have funds available with which to purchase influence and protection,” paying for their protection “as did the helpless peasants of feudal days.”
“It has gotten to the point where I cannot talk even in my own factory,” laments a factory owner. “Accidentally, one of the workers overheard me grumbling about some new bureaucratic regulation and he immediately denounced me to the party and the Labor Front office.”
Reports another factory owner: “The greater part of the week I don’t see my factory at all. All this time I spend in visiting dozens of government commissions and offices in order to get raw materials I need. Then there are various tax problems to settle and I must have continual conferences and negotiations with the Price Commission. It sometimes seems as if I do nothing but that, and everywhere I go there are more leaders, party secretaries, and commissars to see.”
In this totalitarian paradigm, a businessman, declares a Nazi decree, “practices his functions primarily as a representative of the State, only secondarily for his own sake.” Complain, warns a Nazi directive, and “we shall take away the freedom still left you.”
In 1933, six years before Reimann’s book, Victor Klemperer, a Jewish academic in Dresden, made the following entry in his diary on February 21: “It is a disgrace that gets worse with every day that passes. And there’s not a sound from anyone. Everyone’s keeping his head down.”
It is impossible to escape the parallels between Guenter Reimann’s account of doing business under the Nazis and the “compassionate,” “responsible,” and regulated “capitalism” of today’s U.S. economy today. At least the German government was frank enough to give the right name to its system of economic control.
Ralph R. Reiland, owner of Amel’s Restaurant in Pittsburgh, is associate professor of economics at Robert Morris College. Further Reading: Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government (Libertarian Press,  1985); Guenter Reimann, The Vampire Economy: Doing Business Under Fascism (Vanguard Press, 1939); F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (Chicago, 1947). Books by Mises and Hayek are available in our on-line catalog.
c) copyright The Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1998
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The only thing ‘right wing’ about the National Socialists was their seating arrangement in the Reichstag. That blows libs minds every time I mention it in response to their nonsense.
Dr. Balint Vazsonyi:
Contemporary usage of right and left is a product of the Communist (Bolshevik) Party of the Soviet Union-1930’s vintage-branding everyone right-wing who deviated from, or disagreed with, its tenets. At that time, all Americans, except for outright communists, were declared right-wing. Since, at that same time, Nazi Germany considered Americans to be on the left, “right” and “left” are clearly devoid of intellectual integrity. Rather, they function as a tool to stifle all opposition to socialist ideology.
Hitler killed off the Socialists in the “Night of the Long Knives”, the SA was full of ex-Communists, and Rohm and Company, espoused Socialist ideals.
Hitler needed to win over the German Industrialists he needed to feed his war machine, so part of the reason for purging the SA was to alleviate their fears that the Nazis would nationalize the industries. Of the Nazi inner circle, probably Goebbels was the most socialist. Hitler was more pragmatic.
However, Hitler still mandated centralized planning of the German economy, but not ownership of the means of production.
They were to the right of the communists, whom they campaigned against. They believed in centrally controlling the means of production, without nationalizing the companies necessarily. The distinction by many as to what is right wing, becomes an ideological one of “nationalism”. However, the Soviet’s practiced nationalism as much as they preached internationalism. After WWII, many of the Hitler youth songs were translated and used by the soviets.
This idea of ueber -patriotism, is why the right is always compared to the fascists. The left is frightened of any outward exclamation of love of one’s country, always mistaking it for an act of superiority. I had to chuckle when Obama made that statement, “like it or not, we are still a superpower”.
tsk, tsk...letting the marxist fears slip.
It is an archaic label at this point, because economic policies and political power under Hitler were akin to what we understand as leftist policies.
Were they enemies?
I think that there disagreement was in style more than substance. They basically disagreed on who would rule the world, not on how.
“...I propose that there is no left or right, only an up or down. Up to man’s age old dream of the maximum of personal liberty consistent with order, or down to the antheap of totalitarianism...”
Ronald Reagan, 1964
Our founders were “up”, Nazis, Marxists, socialists, tyrants, dictators, and our current administration are all “down”.
You’re absolutely right and it isn’t helped by Pat “never met a Nazi I didn’t like” Buchanan.
Great article. Thanks.
This happened during both the birth of the Soviet Union and East Germany after WWII. I had family living in both dictatorships. Businesses were not immediately seized, but it became to onerous to continue to comply. Both sets of my great-grandparents, simply had enough and signed over both properties and manufacturing entities to the communists.