"The Third Reich was a Socialist state"

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Marcelo Jenisch
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"The Third Reich was a Socialist state"

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 13 Jul 2013 09:22

[Split from "Reich economics"]

http://www.yadvashem.org/odot_pdf/Micro ... 205614.pdf
3. The Reich is a Socialist state: general welfare … individual welfare.
Right is that which benefits the community, wrong is that which is detrimental to it.
Frankly, from the little I understand about economy, the Third Reich was indeed some sort of Socialist state, and this is not only from my perception. The way that Hitler managed the economy was simply not comparable to others which would be more correct to call right-wing dictators, such as Pinochet, which really gave the market autonomy.

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"The Third Reich was a Socialist state"

Post by JLEES » 13 Jul 2013 11:01

Yes, they had socialist programs in the Third Reich, just as they do in the USA, however, this does not mean they were and are Socialist States. Yes, Hitler did manage his economy more than other countries and did not practice pure free market economy principles, but neither does the USA. There are other factors that also need to be taken into consideration when determining political orientation - economics is just one of them. Nazi-Germany politically was an extreme right wing fascist state. To simply look at the Third Reich's economic practices and overlook the other aspects, could lead people politically down the wrong road when trying to understand the period and then make modern day observations.

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Re: Reich economics

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 13 Jul 2013 20:13

Look at the Nazi political program. It aimed among other things to end class distinction. I'm careful with this classification of Nazi Germany as "extreme right". A libertarian society would be extreme right? No, at least not by the classification people popularly want to put Nazi Germany in (a derogaroty one, which has to do with the horizontal political spectrum, which I found outdated). You may call it extreme right in terms of social conservatism however.

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Some of the 25 points of Nazism

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 13 Jul 2013 20:36

http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/r ... points.htm
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.
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.
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.
13. We demand the nationalization of all trusts.
14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries.
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.
If people want to make those popular statements like "oh, the Socialism in the USSR was evil, but the in theory Socialism itsn't evil". If you see the Nazi theory, as I posted some of their itens, in many ways it was "good" as the Soviet one. Actually, there was no mention to exterminate Jews or things of the sort, even if the Nazis did such acts in practice.

Needless to say, I'm not saying that the National Socialist was equal to Marxist Socialism. When people hear "Socialism", they usually heard Marx. Political system are simply flexible, and you can have practically any variants of them, Marx is just the most famous Socialist theorist, but he didn't invented it and neither all sorts of Socialism need to be compared with his Socialism in order to be considerated as such.

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Re: Some of the 25 points of Nazism

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 13 Jul 2013 23:03

http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/r ... points.htm
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.
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.
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.
13. We demand the nationalization of all trusts.
14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries.
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.
Many things in the Nazi government program are simply not present in the constitution of "capitalist" countries, while comparably more of them are present in Socialist and other left leaning (collectivist) goverments. Actually nothing to be impressed, giving that the Nazis explicitly wrote and said they were collectivists.

There are people who make those popular statements like "oh, the Socialism in the USSR was evil, but the in theory Socialism (Marxist Socialism) itsn't evil". I can see a fallacy here. If you see the Nazi theory, as I posted some of their itens and commented, in many ways it was as "good" as the Soviet one. Actually, there's no mention to exterminate Jews or mass killings, even if the Nazis did such acts in practice.

Needless to say, I'm not saying that National Socialism was equal to Marxist Socialism. When people hear "Socialism", they usually heard Marx. Political system are simply flexible, you can have practically any variants of them. Marx is just the most famous Socialist theorist, but he didn't invented Socialism and neither all sorts of Socialism need to be compared to his Socialism in order to be considerated as such.

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Re: "The Third Reich was a Socialist state"

Post by JLEES » 14 Jul 2013 01:55

Although the National Socialist system did promote the idea of all people within the German Volk were racially equal, not all people were invited to join. National Socialistic equality did not mean equality of property ownership. Nazi racial ideology was extremely right wing and exclusionary. Jews for example were not considered German and had no place in German society. Moreover, there was also the racial aspect that placed Germans above all others throughout the world. There was the sacred German soil and the extreme nationalistic right of Germans to live there and the desire to expand at others expense. There was no workers of the world unite in National Socialistic ideology. There was also no long term National Socialist utopia that could be reached and government would go away. Everyone in Nazi Germany existed for the State. The State was the body that had to exist and the Volk were the cells that made it live. The head of the body was Adolf Hitler who ruled from above and had no plans of voluntarily leaving office.

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Re: "The Third Reich was a Socialist state"

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 14 Jul 2013 07:34

You are comparing the thing with Marxism. I'm not doing the conservative speech of try put National Socialism and Marxist Socialism in the same boat. I'm just saying that the Nazis were Socialists for "themselfs". Their goal was to expand themselfs at the cost of other people and significantly reduce or eliminate class difference.

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Re: "The Third Reich was a Socialist state"

Post by Marcelo Jenisch » 14 Jul 2013 07:46

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/socialism

A definition of Socialism:
a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
If you take the point 7 of the 25 points of Nazism, you have this:
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.
Other points give support to the mentioned:
13. We demand the nationalization of all trusts.
14. We demand profit-sharing in large industries.
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.
The Nazi theory says that it's ultimate objective would be the German race controlling the rich lands of what once was the USSR, living in communities were comradeship is higly encouraged, work is higly praised, as well as sports, and there are good standards of living for everyone. Of course that there would be opponents who would not be tolerated, but you would have each new generation more with the National Socialist ideal in mind. Then, as the Nazis and Soviets belived, a "new man" would appear, one that would be in harmony with it's respective system. There were differences between the systems, of course, but in both cases we have humans living in communities were common good is the ultimate objective.

As for the defintion of the Nazis in the political spectrum, I will say that you can call Pinochet a right wing leader, as far as the popular notion of right wing economics is concerned - but the Nazis definately don't fit in the classical left/right spectrum (which I already mention to found outdated, because it makes a generalization of moral values and economic system, which do not need to always follow the same line). The Nazi ideal was not about maintain private ownership of the means of production, while the workers were just tools of the bourgeoisie who only seeks profity (this is what Marxist Socialists say about Nazism). Actually, in Nazism, it was the government who controlled the bourgeoisie, not the opposite. I would simply label Nazism as a collectivist regime were the German race has to cooperate and expand in order to achive the highest possible human development.

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Marcus
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Re: "The Third Reich was a Socialist state"

Post by Marcus » 14 Jul 2013 09:00

The claim discussed here is if Nazi Germany was a Socialist state, not if there were some socialist elements within the Nazi ideology, please stay on track.

/Marcus

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Re: "The Third Reich was a Socialist state"

Post by ljadw » 14 Jul 2013 10:24

As the Third Reich started with a lot of privatisations,the claim that it was a socialist state,is very questionable .

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Re: "The Third Reich was a Socialist state"

Post by JLEES » 14 Jul 2013 11:00

Yes, I agree. The Nazi 25-Point Program was developed early within their movement and they did not stay with it. A number of things were dropped and others changed/evolved. This is nothing new in politics. The Italian Fascists, for instance, initially was a democratic movement that voted on issues, however, this was soon dropped after Mussolini decided to turn it into a totalitarian movement/party. There were also a number of socialistic aspects about the Italian fascist State and Mussolini is noted by mainstream historians, correctly or incorrectly, for being the first European fascist dictator. He also called his movement the "Third Way" and Hitler initially modeled the NSDAP on the PNF. The Third Way implies there are other categories besides Socialist or Capitalist. Nevertheless, it would be crazy to label the Italian Fascist State from 1922-1943 a socialist regime or a democratic regime. This also would be a major rewrite of history that would overlook an avalanche of historic facts that says otherwise.

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Re: "The Third Reich was a Socialist state"

Post by Pavel Novak » 14 Jul 2013 11:04

Yet German planned economy with four year plan was closer to eastern block planned economies than to western free markets. And when it comes to what Nazis themselfs thought about their state - their propaganda is actually very clear:

"Der wahre Sozialismus ist die Lehre von der härtesten Pflichterfüllung." (Adolf Hitler) s. 80
"In echtem Sozialismus wetteifern Front und Heimat im heiligen Kampf um den ewigen Bestand unseres Volkes und Reiches." s. 103

Both from Wofür Kämpfen wir?, Herausgegeben vom Personal - Amt des Heeres, Januar 1944.

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Re: "The Third Reich was a Socialist state"

Post by JLEES » 14 Jul 2013 11:58

True, but there are other things that need to be considered to define socialist, fascist or capitalist, than just economics. There is the extreme racial aspects of the regime, the extreme nationalism, the view of government and how the Volk relates, the colonialist desire to acquire other territory at others expense, the sacred German soil, etc, etc. Yes, the Nazis had a planned economy, but it was nothing like the Soviet Union and they had more privatization of companies than other western countries during the same period. This includes the USA. One can't simply boil political systems down to just two types of regimes and there is no pure political system. They all have various aspects of each other. To cherry pick one or two issues and overlook the other aspects is problematic. Read the Doctrine of Fascism by Mussolini (1932).

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Re: "The Third Reich was a Socialist state"

Post by Pavel Novak » 14 Jul 2013 12:29

JLEES - I agree with your post. That just show how problematic is to divide politics just to left and right. I actually think that this division is so contraproductive that we should abandon it completely.

Nazi Germany is model example how left-right divison of politics is not working. Because original premise of this thread was that "the Third Reich was a Socialist state" and the Third Reich was a socialist state in its own definition and by its own words.* Yet that does not mean it was a leftist state.

* Just what mean words in "NSDAP" abbreviation.

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Re: "The Third Reich was a Socialist state"

Post by JLEES » 14 Jul 2013 12:52

That's why Mussolini called fascism the "Third Way". In his view they were taking the best of capitalism and communism/socialism and molding it into a new system. The problem that has recently come into the picture is that people cherry pick one aspect or another of the Nazi-German system and try to use its example to label a current system as either Nazi or Communist. It is not as easy as that. This is also why there is a need to study history in general and political history specifically. To call National Socialist Germany a socialist system in order to cherry pick certain aspects that are similar, to attack Obama politically and call him a socialist or Marxist is making a major leap of logic and crazy. This is also why they had posters in the USA during the last two presidential elections with a picture of Obama having a Hitler mustache and a hammer and sickle. Either comparison of Obama to communism or naziism is crazy, but people have begun to cherry pick various aspects, as they ignore others and make cheap political points.

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