Apparently, 29% of the US population are Nazis and Nazis are neither Left nor Socialist. Think that’s a ‘woke’ take? Try this one: according to the Mainstream Media, the Nazis are Right-Wing (but, let’s be honest, they’re not).
There seems to be some contention over what constitutes a Nazi and whether or not they are socialist. Excusing the fact that it is written in the name: The National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei – NSDAP) – many still deny they are Left-Wing socialists.
First, we should figure out what we mean when we say ‘Left’ and ‘Right’.
Honestly, such terminologies are unhelpful, it would be easier to see the political spectrum not from Left to Right but from ‘Collectivist’ to ‘Individualist’. Thus, people who are Left, when they espouse ideas such as “universal health care”, “equality” and “redistribution of wealth”, they are talking of the collective. When people who are Right speak of “private insurance”, “economic freedom” and “limited/no taxation”, they are talking of the individual.
Therefore, any and all ideologies that operate based upon groups or collectives are Left-Wing ideologies. Identity Politics, by very existence and definition, is a Left-Wing school of thought. The Nazis were inspired and driven by Identity Politics (Aryans vs Jews), believing themselves to have suffered due to a racial identity oppressing them – sound familiar?
Second, we should figure out what we mean when we say “Socialism”.
The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics says a society may be defined as socialist if the major part of the means of production of goods and services is in some sense socially owned and operated, by state, socialised or co-operative enterprises. This, by definition, makes Socialism a Left-Wing ideal as it is Collectivist.
So, were the Nazis socialist?
Yes, according to Adolf Hitler himself, “[W]e are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.” Hitler spoke this to a crowd of 5000 at the Clou restaurant centre on May 1, 1927. He was paraphrasing Gregor Strasser’s one-page Nazi talking points memo from June 15, 1926.
Hitler and his National Socialist Party were not the only ones inhabiting this authoritarian segment of the Left-Wing during that era. They were ideological neighbours with Mussolini’s Fascism, Leninism and Stalinism – all were inspired by Marx.
Let’s start with Lenin as most people are already willing to associate him with Marx.
Lenin was initially well respected among Nazi circles, so much so that in 1925 Joseph Goebbels said “Lenin was the greatest man, second only to Hitler, and that the difference between communism and the Hitler faith was very slight.” Hitler secretly adopted the same philosophies as Lenin, following in the footsteps of Marx: “I have learned a great deal from Marxism” he once remarked, “as I do not hesitate to admit“.
The main difference between Hitler’s National Socialism and Marx was that Hitler added an identitarian element. Where Marx taught the proletariat had no homeland, Hitler was infatuated with race identity. Without race, Hitler remarked, National Socialism “would really do nothing more than compete with Marxism on its own ground“. And, as mentioned above, Identity Politics (like those based on race) are a Left-Wing/Collectivist practice.
Similarities can also be drawn between Stalinism and Hitler’s National Socialism as Hitler was aiming for the same goal. As he commented “what Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism failed to accomplish, we shall be in a position to achieve.” Hitler recognised the failures of Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism and was hoping to supersede them.
Just as Marx led to Hitler’s National Socialism, Leninism and Stalinism, so too did it inspire Fascism. Frederick Augustus Voigt remarks “Marxism has led to Fascism and National-Socialism, because, in all essentials, it is Fascism and National Socialism.” Whilst these branches did eventually become opposing to one another, they all originate from the same root.
Hitler was, without any doubt, a socialist: “[N]ot a Soviet Socialist, demonising economic groups according to Marxist principles, not Internationalist, where the workers of the world unite, but a National Socialist, demonising ethnic groups according to nationalist principles. The communal social ties of Russia was replaced by the volkish blood-ties of Germany.” Hitler applied Marxist-Socialist teachings to Germany on a Nationalist level.
Yes, all these ideologies had their differences, some quite substantial, but that does not detract from the fact that they all share the same root ideology: Marxism. This is not a contentious argument, no matter how much the ideological Left may try to bury it.
Thus, it is fair to argue that the horseshoe theory is false because it implies these ideologies are of polar opposites and it is through them becoming extreme that they become similar. This is nonsense as they are not polar opposite ideologies, just different variants of the same ideology.
So this historical context leads us to the modern-day and demands we ask: what about the political groups who are active now? What about the Neo-Nazis? What about AntiFa?
Again, just as they were some eighty years ago, they are more similar than they are different.
The Neo-Nazis are arguing based on the grounds of racial supremacy (for whites) whilst claiming they are downtrodden by other racial groups (Jews and Blacks).
AntiFa are arguing based on the grounds of racial supremacy (non-whites) whilst claiming they are downtrodden by other groups which are recognised by biological traits (Whites, Straights, Cisgenders). The difference with AntiFa is they have transcended above discriminating based on ‘Race’ alone, they now include traits such as Gender Identity, Sexuality, Wealth, etc.
These groups, whilst sharing similar ideals, fight because they are so indoctrinated and committed that they search for the slightest deviation so as to be able to claim moral supremacy – this happens to near all Collectivist ideologies. Look at Intersectional Feminism, which has now all but removed White Feminism. They’re now turning their guns onto ‘light-skinned people of colour’, arguing they should ‘voluntarily’ exclude themselves from people of colour spaces. It’s the one-drop rule again but this time for white blood.
It’s also why AntiFa and BLM fight – in fact, BLM has asked 4chan of all people to help them defeat AntiFa. It’s also why BLM has been disrupting Pride events (most recently they disrupted Montreal Pride during a moment of silence for victims of AIDS and Hate Crimes). They all claim to be oppressed by the ‘straight, white man’ yet, would rather fight with their allies than join them.
They’re all Social Justice Warriors, all of them (AntiFa, BLM, neo-Nazis, etc).
Compare Nazis of old to modern day SJWs.
SJWs blame [insert biological trait here]. Nazis blamed Blacks and Jews.
SJWs are Nazis.
They have the same practices, they’ve just shifted the ideologies around. You can also lump the alt-right in there as well except the alt-right rejects Marx rather than preaching it.
In summation, the Nazis were Left-Wing Socialists.
Also, the Nazis have not gone away, no matter how much we would like them to. They will not go away until Socialism in all its forms is rejected. You don’t kill a weed by cutting of its head, you kill a weed by poisoning the root. Destroy Socialism: no more Nazis. I think we can all agree that is an outcome we all want.