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Response to Hortensis (Reply #114)

Tue Mar 12, 2019, 11:03 AM

116. No. I was replying to a person who seems to think nazis were socialists - they were not.

 

You seem to think socialists ‘helped nazis gain power’. This is also not true.

Nazis are fascists. Fascism is an anti-left ideology and gains power through the assent of centrists and business interests who see the fascists as ‘protecting’ them from the power that workers would have under socialist policies.

https://www.abc.net.au/religion/nazism-socialism-and-the-falsification-of-history/10214302
Peter van Onselen's error is one of fact, not interpretation. Any analysis of the electoral platforms, internal party dynamics and political actions of the Nazis between 1921 and 1945 makes this clear. Perhaps the German Workers Party - the party of around 100 members led by Anton Drexler that preceded the Nazi Party (NSDAP) - might have sought to cobble authoritarian anti-capitalism (which is not the same as socialism) onto biological racism. The early, pre-Nazi party that Hitler joined toyed with forms of market control to benefit small businesses and to halt ostensible "foreign" - that is, Jewish - control over markets. But such dalliances would not last long. Yes, Mussolini had been a socialist early during the First World War, but broke with his comrades to support Italian expansionism, and then formed his fascist party to crush them. As in fascist Italy, Nazi ideas were self-consciously formulated to negate those of the left, not to imitate them. When Hitler took over the party in 1921, he shredded the anti-capitalist parts of the old party's platform.

...
Under Hitler, the party looked squarely to the middle classes and farmers rather than the working class for a political base. Hitler realigned it to ensure that it was an anti-socialist, anti-liberal, authoritarian, pro-business party - particularly after the failed Beerhall Putsch of 1923. The "socialism" in the name National Socialism was a strategically chosen misnomer designed to attract working class votes where possible, but they refused to take the bait. The vast majority voted for the Communist or Social Democratic parties.

People were not ‘fooled’ by Nazis at the time.

The minority anti-capitalist strand of Nazism (Strasserism) on which van Onselen fastens was eliminated well before 1934, when Gregor Strasser and the Storm Trooper (SA) leader Ernst Roehm were murdered with over eighty others in the "Night of the Long Knives." In fact, Strasserism had already been defeated at the Bamberg Conference of 1926 when the Nazis were polling under 3% of the vote. Here, Hitler brought the dissidents back into line, denouncing them as "communists" and ruling out land expropriations and grassroots decision-making. He heightened the party's alliance with businesses small and large, and insisted on the absolute centralisation of decision-making - the "Fuehrer (leader) Principle."

...
For their part, businesses welcomed the Nazis' promises to suppress the left. On 20 February 1933, Hitler and Goering met with a large group of industrialists when Hitler declared that democracy and business were incompatible and that the workers needed to be dragged away from socialism. He promised bold action to protect their businesses and property from communism. The industrialists - including leading figures from I.G. Farben, Hoesch, Krupp, Siemens, Allianz and other senior mining and manufacturing groups - then contributed more than two million Reichsmarks to the Nazi election fund, with Goering tellingly suggesting that this would probably be the last election for a hundred years. Business leadership happily jettisoned democracy to rid Germany of socialism and to smash organised labour

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LineLineLineLineLineLineNew Reply No. I was replying to a person who seems to think nazis were socialists - they were not.
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