Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Nazis Weren't Socialists

One of the things I hate the most about online debates is how conservatives always claim that the Nazi Party in Hitler's Germany was "socialist" and hence leftist.

It's just not true, although little I say is likely to persuade anyone at this point.

In any case, below is the comment I left at Avi Green's post, at the Astute Bloggers, "RON MARZ DOESN'T BELIEVE NAZIS WAS ACRONYM FOR SOCIALISTS":
Sorry, Avi, the Nazis, in the 1930s, went to exterminate their rivals as they came to power, particularly socialists and communists. To be a true socialist you have to abolish private property, something the Nazis never did. They saw the Soviet Union as a world Jewish conspiracy, and hated Marxism. These are all facts, found all over the literature on the Interwar period.

National Socialists were what you'd call the "reactionary right" today, people whose vision of the perfect society harked back to an earlier time, i.e., the vision of the "Teutonic Knights" and the "Aryan nation" of pure-blood medieval Germans. Socialists are Marxist, and their perfect society is in the future, under Utopian communism and the withering away of the state. The far right is reactionary, while the far left is radical. Nazis and socialists stand at the opposite ends of the ideological spectrum.

If you don't know this history, then you should. I don't know this guy Ron Marz, and I have no idea if he knows this history, but he's essentially right that the Nazis were not left-wing socialists as conservatives usually use the terminology. Yeah, it's complicated and intellectual, but it's the correct version on this topic.
I can of course append sources to my argument at the comment, if anyone's so interested, but then again, I'm not convinced I'd change anyone's mind. If you think the Nazis were leftists, academic sources and scholarly evidence to the contrary are hardly going to be persuasive.