>>>> The Nazis weren't 'radical-right'; they were radical socialists.
This is an over-simplification. Hitler was a master at harnessing latent fears and passions among the populace. The communists were gathering force in Germany, so Hitler embraced some of communism's lingo and extended it for his own benefit. The same is true for anti-semitism. Hitler observed the mayor of Vienna making use of ethnic intolerance as a means for obtaining loyal support from the citizenry, and so he added that to his bag of tricks.
To say that Hitler's hodgepodge of political ideals was socialist is wrong in two ways. First, Hitler had no ideals but power. Second, Hitler made promises that sounded like socialism to the people in order to obtain their trust. He made other promises to businessmen, and still others to the military that had nothing to do with socialism. Hitler followed the rule that you promise whatever it takes to gain the advantage in every political arena. Once you have power, you sieze it to accomplish your other aims. Hitler's core aims were right-wing. For the American right to protest that this weren't the case is probably due to fear of being associated with fascism, but it's unnecessary as long as the American populace is allowed to be armed. Moreover, just because we are on the right (and have a sense of righteousness) today does not mean that a threat to American freedoms will never come from the right in the future.
There is irony in calling Hitler a socialist because Stalin was no more a communist than Hitler was a socialist. Both men used ideologies to harness people's collective will. Both men never cared for the academic theories of the political movements they purported to lead. On the other hand, Hitler was much more eclectic in his selection of ideologies to tout.
Power wants power, and gets it any way it can.
The American dalliance with socialism is fueled by two kinds of politics: socialism for ideals, and socialism for the force it provides to the enemies of freedom. Of course in the end, socialism's promises are usurped by the heartless powerbrokers because of the weapons socialism provides them. However, we should fear the ideologues more than the powerbrokers because they are the ones who break the back of freedom first.
But socialism is only one enemy of freedom. We shouldn't lose track of the others thinking "if only we crush anything that looks like communism we'll be safe." Hitler's special brand of tyranny was something else again besides pure socialism. There was nothing pure about it.
posted on 07/24/2003 11:23:03 PM PDT
My own perferred terminology is statism. And Hitler was pretty clearly statist just as communists and socialists are also statists. And beyond trying to put more and more control in the hands of a central government to me the difference between Royalists, Communists, Socialists, Hitlerites etc is basically window dressing. Call it right or left or whatever, it is trying to amass power as you say but you are wrong to say his core aims were right-wing.
His core aim was the same as any tyrant, power. That is true of tyrants in Africa and the middle East today. It was true of the Soviet Bloc. It was true of Hitler, the Japanese militarists and Franco. Was true of the devine right kings. It has been true in theocracies throughtout history.
And I agree, the headline writer is clearly another lefty showing us how right Ann Coulter is. She could not have published at a better time.
posted on 07/24/2003 11:58:21 PM PDT
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