Skip to comments.Socialism = NAZI (Hitler was a socialist)
Posted on 06/22/2002 10:38:56 AM PDT by freeforall
Socialism = NAZI or...
Hitler was a socialist.
The nasty little secret they don't want you to know!
THE OMINOUS PARALLELS, by Leonard Peikoff...
A Veritas News Service Book Review - "A magnificent work... it should be required reading for all Americans. This book reveals socialisms nasty little secret." William Cooper
Excerpt from Chapter One.
The Nazis were not a tribe of prehistoric savages. Their crimes were the official, legal acts and policies of modern Germany -- an educated, industrialized, CIVILIZED Western European nation, a nation renowned throughout the world for the luster of its intellectual and cultural achievements. By reason of its long line of famous artists and thinkers, Germany has been called "the land of poets and philosophers."
But its education offered the country no protection against the Sergeant Molls in its ranks. The German university students were among the earliest groups to back Hitler. The intellectuals were among his regime's most ardent supporters. Professors with distinguished academic credentials, eager to pronounce their benediction on the Fuhrer's cause, put their scholarship to work full time; they turned out a library of admiring volumes, adorned with obscure allusions and learned references.
The Nazis did not gain power against the country's wishes. In this respect there was no gulf between the intellectuals and the people. The Nazi party was elected to office by the freely cast ballots of millions of German voters, including men on every social, economic, and educational level. In the national election of July 1932, the Nazis obtained 37% of the vote and a plurality of seats in the Reichstag. On January 30, 1933, in full accordance with the country's legal and constitutional principles, Hitler was appointed Chancellor. Five weeks later, in the last (and semi-free) election of the pre-totalitarian period, the Nazis obtained 17 million votes, 44% of the total.
The voters were aware of the Nazi ideology. Nazi literature, including statements of the Nazi plans for the future, papered the country during the last years of the Weimar Republic. "Mein Kampf" alone sold more than 200,000 copies between 1925 and 1932. The essence of the political system which Hitler intended to establish in Germany was clear.
In 1933, when Hitler did establish the system he had promised, he did not find it necessary to forbid foreign travel. Until World War II, those Germans who wished to flee the country could do so. The overwhelming majority did not. They were satisfied to remain.
The system which Hitler established -- the social reality which so many Germans were so eager to embrace or so willing to endure -- the politics which began in a theory and ended in Auschwitz -- was: the "total state". The term, from which the adjective "totalitarian" derives, was coined by Hitler's mentor, Mussolini.
The state must have absolute power over every man and over every sphere of human activity, the Nazis declared. "The authority of the Fuhrer is not limited by checks and controls, by special autonomous bodies or individual rights, but it is free and independent, all-inclusive and unlimited," said Ernst Huber, an official party spokesman, in 1933.
"The concept of personal liberties of the individual as opposed to the authority of the state had to disappear; it is not to be reconciled with the principle of the nationalistic Reich," said Huber to a country which listened, and nodded. "There are no personal liberties of the individual which fall outside of the realm of the state and which must be respected by the state... The constitution of the nationalistic Reich is therefore not based upon a system of inborn and inalienable rights of the individual."
If the term "statism" designates concentration of power in the state at the expense of individual liberty, then Nazism in politics was a form of statism. In principle, it did not represent a new approach to government; it was a continuation of the political absolutism -- the absolute monarchies, the oligarchies, the theocracies, the random tyrannies -- which has characterized most of human history.
In degree, however, the total state does differ from its predecessors: it represents statism pressed to its limits, in theory and in practice, devouring the last remnants of the individual. Although previous dictators (and many today; e.g., in Latin America) often preached the unlimited power of the state, they were on the whole unable to enforce such power. As a rule, citizens of such countries had a kind of partial "freedom", not a freedom-on-principle, but at least a freedom-by-default.
Even the latter was effectively absent in Nazi Germany. The efficiency of the government in dominating its subjects, the all-encompassing character of its coercion, the complete mass regimentation on a scale involving millions of men -- and, one might add, the enormity of the slaughter, the planned, systematic mass slaughter, in peacetime, initiated by a government against its own citizens -- these are the insignia of twentieth-century totalitarianism (Nazi AND communist), which are without parallel in recorded history. In the totalitarian regimes, as the Germans found out after only a few months of Hitler's rule, every detail of life is prescribed, or proscribed. There is no longer any distinction between private matters and public matters. "There are to be no more private Germans," said Friedrich Sieburg, a Nazi writer; "each is to attain significance only by his service to the state, and to find complete self-fulfillment in his service." "The only person who is still a private individual in Germany," boasted Robert Ley, a member of the Nazi hierarchy, after several years of Nazi rule, "is somebody who is asleep."
In place of the despised "private individuals," the Germans heard daily or hourly about a different kind of entity, a supreme entity, whose will, it was said, is what determines the course and actions of the state: the nation, the whole, the GROUP. Over and over, the Germans heard the idea that underlies the advocacy of omnipotent government, the idea that totalitarians of every kind stress as the justification of their total states: COLLECTIVISM.
Collectivism is the theory that the group (the collective) has primacy over the individual. Collectivism holds that, in human affairs, the collective -- society, the community, the nation, the proletariat, the race, etc. -- is THE UNIT OF REALITY AND THE STANDARD OF VALUE. On this view, the individual has reality only as part of the group, and value only insofar as he serves it; on his own he has no political rights; he is to be sacrificed for the group whenever it -- or its representative, the state -- deems this desirable.
Fascism, said one of its leading spokesmen, Alfredo Rocco, stresses:
...the necessity, for which the older doctrines make little allowance, of sacrifice, even up to the total immolation of individuals, on behalf of society... For Liberalism (i.e., individualism), the individual is the end and society the means; nor is it conceivable that the individual, considered in the dignity of an ultimate finality, be lowered to mere instrumentality. For Fascism, society is the end, individuals the means, and its whole life consists in using individuals as instruments for its social ends.
"The higher interests involved in the life of the whole," said Hitler in a 1933 speech, "must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual." Men, echoed the Nazis, have to "realize that the State is more important than the individual, that individuals must be willing and ready to sacrifice themselves for Nation and Fuhrer." The people, said the Nazis, "form a true organism," a "living unity", whose cells are individual persons. In reality, therefore -- appearances to the contrary notwithstanding -- there is no such thing as an "isolated individual" or an autonomous man.
Just as the individual is to be regarded merely as a fragment of the group, the Nazis said, so his possessions are to be regarded as a fragment of the group's wealth.
"Private property" as conceived under the liberalistic economy order was a reversal of the true concept of property [wrote Huber]. This "private property" represented the right of the individual to manage and to speculate with inherited or acquired property as he pleased, without regard for the general interests... German socialism had to overcome this "private", that is, unrestrained and irresponsible view of property. All property is common property. The owner is bound by the people and the Reich to the responsible management of his goods. His legal position is only justified when he satisfies this responsibility to the community.
Contrary to the Marxists, the Nazis did not advocate public ownership of the means of production. They did demand that the government oversee and run the nation's economy. The issue of legal ownership, they explained, is secondary; what counts is the issue of CONTROL. Private citizens, therefore, may continue to hold titles to property -- so long as the state reserves to itself the unqualified right to regulate the use of their property.
If "ownership" means the right to determine the use and disposal of material goods, then Nazism endowed the state with every real prerogative of ownership. What the individual retained was merely a formal deed, a content-less deed, which conferred no rights on its holder. Under communism, there is collective ownership of property DEJURE. Under Nazism, there is the same collective ownership DE FACTO.
During the Hitler years -- in order to finance the party's programs, including the war expenditures -- every social group in Germany was mercilessly exploited and drained. White-collar salaries and the earnings of small businessmen were deliberately held down by government controls, freezes, taxes. Big business was bled by taxes and "special contributions" of every kind, and strangled by the bureaucracy. At the same time the income of the farmers was held down, and there was a desperate flight to the cities -- where the middle class, especially the small tradesmen, were soon in desperate straits, and where the workers were forced to labor at low wages for increasingly longer hours (up to 60 or more per week).
But the Nazis defended their policies, and the country did not rebel; it accepted the Nazi argument. Selfish individuals may be unhappy, the Nazis said, but what we have established in Germany is the ideal system, SOCIALISM. In its Nazi usage this term is not restricted to a theory of economics; it is to be understood in a fundamental sense. "Socialism" for the Nazis denotes the principle of collectivism as such and its corollary, statism -- in every field of human action, including but not limited to economics.
"To be a socialist", says Goebbels, "is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole."
By this definition, the Nazis practiced what they preached. They practiced it at home and then abroad. No one can claim that they did not sacrifice enough individuals.
Excerpted from Chapter 1 of THE OMINOUS PARALLELS, by Leonard Peikoff... most probably the most important book written in modern times. Buy it... read it... study it.
The importance of knowing the direction of our drift is in defining the tactics to oppose it. As a firm anti-WOD person, I would usually not be found allied with the gun lobby and the anti-abortion lobby, but both are my allies now, as both oppose the socialist drift to which we are succumbing.
Thanks for the kind words and the wisdom to see that the two different paradigms are causing the confusion in this debate. I think it is hard for people on the right to grasp that Nazi's were from the right because of the horrible acts of the Germans. But none of us are without sin. The Christians have their inquisitions, the Jews persecuted the Christians, the left killed its' millions, the right its' six million. Let us all agree that if there are to be more deaths, they shall be in the name of freedom once and for all, and truly for all. The next state will have one order of business: protecting the individual from the state and from violence and theft from other citizens, period. Under that government, if we hear that the Bill of Rights is a living document, that judge is going to be a dead judge, the only capital crime.
Just what the hell is it about people who think they have to find something deeper . Folks who think that it's divine to hug a crystal ?
You seem to know the type . What is it that makes people think that they are so worthless that they flock to people like Ryan , Hitler , Jim Jones , The Pharohs , King Henry , The Duke of Anjou , Voltaire .
I'm always amazed with the fact that folks continue to demean themselves . Indeed ! Many look forward to doing so . It is a terrible loss of human potential , not to mention the loss to society .
Marketing is the same as getting on the internet . Anyone can do it . Its to bad folks who have a certain type of core use it to achieve there self serving ends .
The "point" of thread is not whether Germany between 1933 and 1945 was a perfectly socialist nation. The point is whether or not that "socialism=Nazi" and whether Hitler was a socialist. The latter point is problamatic since Hitler was a power-mad liar and I believe, like Clinton, was a economic pragmatist rather than an ideologue. Of course, I believe that about most socialists in general.
The former point is pretty indisputable: Here are the 25 points of the Nazi Party, which is basically group's founding document.
THE 25 POINTS OF HITLER'S NAZI PARTY
1. We demand the union of all Germans in a Great Germany on the basis of the principle of self-determination of all peoples.
2. We demand that the German people have rights equal to those of other nations; and that the Peace Treaties of Versailles and St. Germain shall be abrogated.
3. We demand land and territory (colonies) for the maintenance of our people and the settlement of our surplus population.
4. Only those who are our fellow countrymen can become citizens. Only those who have German blood, regardless of creed, can be our countrymen. Hence no Jew can be a countryman.
5. Those who are not citizens must live in Germany as foreigners and must be subject to the law of aliens.
6. The right to choose the government and determine the laws of the State shall belong only to citizens. We therefore demand that no public office, of whatever nature, whether in the central government, the province, or the municipality, shall be held by anyone who is not a citizen. We wage war against the corrupt parliamentary administration whereby men are appointed to posts by favor of the party without regard to character and fitness.
7. We demand that the State shall above all undertake to ensure that every citizen shall have the possibility of living decently and earning a livelihood. If it should not be possible to feed the whole population, then aliens (non-citizens) must be expelled from the Reich.
8. Any further immigration of non-Germans must be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans who have entered Germany since August 2, 1914, shall be compelled to leave the Reich immediately.
9. All citizens must possess equal rights and duties.
10. The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. No individual shall do any work that offends against the interest of the community to the benefit of all. Therefore we demand:
11. That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.
12. Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in blood and treasure, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as treason to the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13. We demand the nationalization of all trusts.
14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries.
15. We demand a generous increase in old-age pensions.
16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle-class, the immediate communalization of large stores which will be rented cheaply to small tradespeople, and the strongest consideration must be given to ensure that small traders shall deliver the supplies needed by the State, the provinces and municipalities.
17. We demand an agrarian reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.
18. We demand that ruthless war be waged against those who work to the injury of the common welfare. Traitors, usurers, profiteers, etc., are to be punished with death, regardless of creed or race.
19. We demand that Roman law, which serves a materialist ordering of the world, be replaced by German common law.
20. In order to make it possible for every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education, and thus the opportunity to reach into positions of leadership, the State must assume the responsibility of organizing thoroughly the entire cultural system of the people. The curricula of all educational establishments shall be adapted to practical life. The conception of the State Idea (science of citizenship) must be taught in the schools from the very beginning. We demand that specially talented children of poor parents, whatever their station or occupation, be educated at the expense of the State.
21. The State has the duty to help raise the standard of national health by providing maternity welfare centers, by prohibiting juvenile labor, by increasing physical fitness through the introduction of compulsory games and gymnastics, and by the greatest possible encouragement of associations concerned with the physical education of the young.
22. We demand the abolition of the regular army and the creation of a national (folk) army.
23. We demand that there be a legal campaign against those who propagate deliberate political lies and disseminate them through the press. In order to make possible the creation of a German press, we demand: (a) All editors and their assistants on newspapers published in the German language shall be German citizens. (b) Non-German newspapers shall only be published with the express permission of the State. They must not be published in the German language. (c) All financial interests in or in any way affecting German newspapers shall be forbidden to non-Germans by law, and we demand that the punishment for transgressing this law be the immediate suppression of the newspaper and the expulsion of the non-Germans from the Reich. Newspapers transgressing against the common welfare shall be suppressed. We demand legal action against those tendencies in art and literature that have a disruptive influence upon the life of our folk, and that any organizations that offend against the foregoing demands shall be dissolved.
24. We demand freedom for all religious faiths in the state, insofar as they do not endanger its existence or offend the moral and ethical sense of the Germanic race. The party as such represents the point of view of a positive Christianity without binding itself to any one particular confession. It fights against the Jewish materialist spirit within and without, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our folk can only come about from within on the pinciple: COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD
25. In order to carry out this program we demand: the creation of a strong central authority in the State, the unconditional authority by the political central parliament of the whole State and all its organizations. The formation of professional committees and of committees representing the several estates of the realm, to ensure that the laws promulgated by the central authority shall be carried out by the federal states.
The leaders of the party undertake to promote the execution of the foregoing points at all costs, if necessary at the sacrifice of their own lives.
Note especially points 12, 13, 16 and 17. The Nazis were INARGUABLY, INDISPUTABLY socialists.
But IMO the "important" difference between Fascism/Communism is in the imagery used to sell them, which by analogy I call marketing.
Marketing techniques are like other tools, it's all about the use to which they're put.
I learned a little bit more thanks to you folks !
I would add two points. First, the main German socialist party, the SDP, essentially abandoned the goal of state ownership of the means of production in the late 19th Century. Basically what happened is that Bismarck and the conservatives agreed to establish a cradle to grave welfare state if the socialists would drop nationalization. So, the NAZI platform is not markedly different than mainstream German socialism on this issue.
The second point is to look at who elected the NAZI's. The electoral maps of the last two German elections before the NAZI dictatorship was elected showed conservative support roughly static, winning primarily traditionally conservative constituencies in the south and west. The dramatic change was the majority of socialist constituencies which flipped from SDP to NAZI. Socialist voters put the NAZI's in power.
There are a couple of ways of considering the issue. Stryker isn't necessarily wrong. He's using the dictionary definition of socialism and noting Nazi Germany refrained from much nationalization.
On the other hand it is very fair, accurate and practical to call the Nazis and, by default, Hitler socialists.
They called themselves socialists, after all, and advocated nationalization in their platform for parts of the German economy. By word and deed, they showed they considered the private ownership of property to be a conditional circumstance and subject to the whims of the state -- what this thread might end up being is a debate on the meaning of the word "ownership."
It is practical to insist upon the Nazis being considered socialists because the enemies of freedom have vocally considered socialism to an advancement for humanity, while often accusing the defenders of individual liberty of being Nazis.
It very effective to point out -- accurately -- that they are the ones with whom Hitler identified with, and with whom he was allied with, and whose economic positions he advocated.
Hitler hated American political and economic freedom.
Hitler followed the same game plan. He openly acknowledged that the Nazi party was ``socialist'' and that its enemies were the ``bourgeoisie'' and the ``plutocrats'' (the rich). Like Lenin and Stalin, Hitler eliminated trade unions, and replaced them with his own state-run labor organizations. Like Lenin and Stalin, Hitler hunted down and exterminated rival leftist factions (such as the Communists). Like Lenin and Stalin, Hitler waged unrelenting war against small business.
Hitler regarded capitalism as an evil scheme of the Jews and said so in speech after speech. Karl Marx believed likewise. In his essay, ``On the Jewish Question,'' Marx theorized that eliminating Judaism would strike a crippling blow to capitalist exploitation. Hitler put Marx's theory to work in the death camps.
The Nazis are widely known as nationalists, but that label is often used to obscure the fact that they were also socialists. Some question whether Hitler himself actually believed in socialism, but that is no more relevant than whether Stalin was a true believer. The fact is that neither could have come to power without at least posing as a socialist.
A Little Secret About the Nazis
Joseph Goebbels own words: "Those Damn Nazis", long German propaganda piece defining intent and meaning of the Nazi's....National, Socialists....left-wing, "third way.".
If a Communist shouts "Down with nationalism!", he means the hypocritical bourgeois patriotism that sees the economy only as a system of slavery. If we make clear to the man of the left that nationalism and capitalism, that is the affirmation of the Fatherland and the misuse of its resources, have nothing to do with each other, indeed that they go together like fire and water, then even as a socialist he will come to affirm the nation, which he will want to conquer.
That is our real task as National Socialists. We were the first to recognize the connections, and the first to begin the struggle. Because we are socialists we have felt the deepest blessings of the nation, and because we are nationalists we want to promote socialist justice in a new Germany.
A young Fatherland will rise when the socialist front is firm.
Socialism will become reality when the Fatherland is free.
Perhaps the genus should not be Socialism.Perhaps Collectivism should be the genus and that Socialism,Communism,Facism and Nazism are the species.The other contrast would be Individualism as the genus with Libertarianism,Classic Liberalism etc as the species.
I think you've nailed it here. The genus/species device is great. It captures with a bit more elegance the point I was trying to make in my #167 -- which is that there are two variables to consider, but that they are not of equal importance and their rank must be considered.
The first variable is whether or not the government is going to force some kind of social/economic idealogy down the throats of its citizens.
The second variable is which ideology that's going to be.
And the first is clearly ranked higher since the importance of the second is predicated upon the condition of the first. The first variable is primary; the second is a modifier.
So with regards to socialists and fascists, they could be quantified like this (forgive my ham-fisted latinizations here):
collectivus socialistus and collectivus fascistus
socialistus progressivus and socialistus nationalistus
With regard to the original article, it appears Piekoff would lean towards the second grouping, with "socialist" as the genus designation.
LOL, zoology and politics...
If you want to say Germany under the Nazis had de facto rather than de jure socialism, that's fine, but the Nazis were socialists. You've read my reasoning. The Social Democratic Labor Party has ruled Sweden for most of the last century. They never nationalized the means of production. The SDLP is considered a socialist party.
You're insisting on a very narrow definition of "nationalized," anyway. Hitler's Germany was a police state. There was no habeas corpus. There was no appeal to an arrest by the Gestapo. You don't think this atmosphere of terror influenced business decision making? Saying the Nazis didn't "nationalize" the means of production is sort of like saying the mob didn't control the Dune's Casino because an attorney's name was on the deed.
I've read the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by the way.
Fascists are and will forever be the absolute opposite of socialists and communists
Stryker, I don't think you have to be particularly well-read to see that this statement is false.
Fascists and socialists are and will forever be sworn enemies; but they are not and have never been absolute opposites.
Fascism and communism are both anti-liberal, anti-individual, anti-freedom. They are both scavengers picking at the carcass of faltering or failed capitalism, and in this they have a profound commonality.
The only way you can declare them to be "absolute opposites" is to absolutely discard that which they absolutely have in common, which is their disdain for the sovereignty of the individual.
It was like that in Hitler's time, with the Storm Troopers fighting with the Reds back in the 1920's. Middle-class people were so sick of the Reds raising hell that they welcomed anybody who would beat them up and make them go away (until they realized that the newcomers were just as bad)
You also assume that neo-Nazis are on the Right, rather than just being Leftists of the different color. Is there a difference between the Bloods and the Crips?
If there was a middle-class neighborhood that was getting trouble from Crips moving in, they might welcome a Hells Angels chapter. For a while.
Seriously though, perhaps the politics in not the primary.Maybe all totalitarian/authoritarian politics are a branch of Platonic collectivism which then would be the true genus.Plus we would also have to give thanks for Hegel's contribution to insaneapoliticus.
As to your logic, I don't find any. You seem to be stuck reasoning that because two different types of nation states are both powerful, they must be the same. You ignore that they engage in entirely different nation building and social engineering--one nationalizing all land and factories and inculcating into its' citizens the world view that all are equal and that nation states and governments will ultimately dissolve, and the other raising a race and its' historic symbols and institutions to worship of the eternal state while inculcating its' citizens with the idea that they are superior to all other races, and nationalizing only actual people as slaves to serve the master race.
Others in this thread have basically agreed at this point and have just worked out fine details, but you are a stubborn one Tribune. Why do you suppose Hitler put 90% of his armies on the Eastern Front and only 10% on the Western? Could it have been that the ruling class of Germany thought that Britain and the United States would ultimately see the wisdom of joining Germany in fighting communism, all three countries at that time practicing some brand of fascism, the latter two admittedly very mild.
And who controlled the means of production? The Nazis.
To do this, organized labor, and the actual socialists and communists had to be removed from the scene.
Leave labels aside for a moment. Rephrase it as "competitors to the party had to be removed from the scene." It's no different than the Soviets.
Once Hitler gained power, legally I might add, and with the financial backing of the German elite,(which you should know if you read "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" and understood it), those owners retained their ownership
How does that not make the Nazis socialist? What's the difference between co-opting a business owner to do your bidding or replacing him with a "worker's council?" It's the same result. The former's more practical and effective. Your positions seems to be that it would be a violation of socialist principals. I view it as adaptation. The ruling party can still be called a socialist.
And Hitler certainly did nationalize (using the most basic definition of the word) several industries.
Any owner in the United States that turned disloyal would have lost his ownership, .
Actually, what would have and did happen -- I'm assuming by disloyal you simply mean ignore government directives -- would be that the government would, temporarily, take over the facilities. No ownership would be lost. No concentration camp sentence would be levied.
As to your logic, I don't find any.
Well, I'm not surprised.
You seem to be stuck reasoning that because two different types of nation states are both powerful, they must be the same.
Of course not. The United States is powerful. We're neither like Nazi Germany nor the Soviet Union.
You ignore that they engage in entirely different nation building and social engineering--one nationalizing all land and factories and inculcating into its' citizens the world view that all are equal and that nation states and governments will ultimately dissolve,
Are you really a conservative? Anyway, it's occasionally interesting to consider the differences but far more useful to note the similarities -- namely that the ideologies of both nations held that the rights of the state/collective/party outweighed the rights of the individual -- including the right to his property.
Others in this thread have basically agreed at this point and have just worked out fine details, but you are a stubborn one Tribune.
I think most of the posters are agreeing with me. :-)
Why do you suppose Hitler put 90% of his armies on the Eastern Front and only 10% on the Western?
Because that's were 90 percent of the fighting was going on. The Russian front lasted from 1940 to 1945. The Western Front basically lasted for 11 months starting in June 1944.
Could it have been that the ruling class of Germany thought that Britain and the United States would ultimately see the wisdom of joining Germany in fighting communism, all three countries at that time practicing some brand of fascism, the latter two admittedly very mild.
The US, facist? You are not only not a conservative (or classic liberal if you will), you are getting silly. Ponder this -- why was Hitler's first ally the Soviet Union?
That's telling me.
Hitler did not nationalize industry.
No? You 100 percent sure?
Just one final point-- the Nazis were, without a scintilla of a doubt, socialists.
I lived through a Socialist regime in Ontario,Canada and they did not nationalize any industries either.
I like calling the Nazis socialists because:
A. They were, and
B. it really, really upsets the other socialists.
I'm waiting to see if Stryker was just bluffing and is coming back so I can tell him what industries were fully nationalized -- in the sense of the state taking actual ownership -- by Hitler.
But the idea of opposites is an interesting one. When are things opposite in nature, and when do our minds and language make them so?
The species, genus idea is an interesting one. It's also more a question of relationships and genealogies, rather than identities.
A word like "socialism" has many different definitions. In early 20th century Europe, it was a positive term. Even conservatives appealed to the "true" socialist idea. The debate here is as much about semantics as anything else.
You are a "splitter," who wants to use the word in a narrow sense. Others are "lumpers" who employ it in a more general sense. It's an argument that can't be won because it's about definitions -- axioms, rather than proofs or theorums or conjectures.
When someone says that the Incas or the ancient Egyptians were socialists, I balk. There ought to be a better word to convey similarities between the socialists of the last two centuries and ancient tyrannies.
But when someone argues that socialists are and must be democratic or egalitarian or anti-racist, I likewise disagree. This isn't based on an investigation of what self-identified socialists have actually said historically, but on present-day definitions. There have been racist and inegalitarian socialists.
In any event, Swedish Social Democrats left the control of the means of production in the hands of capitalist elites, yet they are reckoned as being on the left.
I seem to recall that in Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, he talks about how many early members of the SA felt they had been deluded when the party did not carry out the some of the social programs it had promised to gain power. Of course not everyone can be identified with a unique point on a left-right scale, but as you say the majority of Hitler's policies place him at the far right.
a bump for an old thread
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