The Left hates the idea that the National Socialists were in fact socialists, avoiding the obvious truth that the Nazis crafted their political system based on the emerging model in Europe at the time, which was market socialism as a bulwark to going full Communist as the proles wanted.
If the Nazis were socialist, of course, it points out that regular “moderate” socialist states can easily become totalitarian, which offends the Left because they do not want to admit that Leftist-designed societies tend to implode and move straight into tyranny.
This is not to say that the Nazis were purely tyrants; unlike pure tyrants such as Joseph Stalin, the Nazis attempted to rule for the benefit of their people, but were held back by a system patterned after the Communist “Total State.”
Witness the outrage at the socialist nature of National Socialism from the suburban gated community armchair Left:
Anyone who has been on political Twitter in the past decade has seen a version of this syllogism. Conservatives, seeking to escape the “fascist” and “Nazi” labels tossed at them by leftist critics since the 1960s, have turned the tables. Books such as Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” have noted that many leading fascists, such as Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, started out as socialists, just as many early 20th-century “progressives” embraced eugenic ideas ultimately linked to Nazi racist genocide.
Although the Nazis did pursue a level of government intervention in the economy that would shock doctrinaire free marketeers, their “socialism” was at best a secondary element in their appeal. Indeed, most supporters of Nazism embraced the party precisely because they saw it as an enemy of and an alternative to the political left.
Instead of controlling the means of production or redistributing wealth to build a utopian society, the Nazis focused on safeguarding a social and racial hierarchy. They promised solidarity for members of the Volksgemeinschaft (“racial community”) even as they denied rights to those outside the charmed circle.
Hilariously, the Left defeats its own argument while making it, pointing out that in a nationalist society, socialism applies only to members of the founding ethnic group. The Washington Post wants us to think that if socialism is not diverse, it is not socialism.
The most obvious answer, which is that like libertarians, neoliberals, fascists, and neoconservatives, the National Socialists were a hybrid of Left-wing methods and Right-wing goals seems to have escaped the Left.
We can sort the 25 Points of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party into their derivations from nationalism and socialism:
1. We demand the union of all Germany in a Greater Germany on the basis of the right of national self-determination.
4. Only members of the nation may be citizens of the State. Only those of German blood, whatever be their creed, may be members of the nation. Accordingly, no Jew may be a member of the nation.
5. Non-citizens may live in Germany only as guests and must be subject to laws for aliens.
6. The right to vote on the State’s government and legislation shall be enjoyed by the citizens of the State alone. We demand therefore that all official appointments, of whatever kind, whether in the Reich, in the states or in the smaller localities, shall be held by none but citizens.
We oppose the corrupting parliamentary custom of filling posts merely in accordance with party considerations, and without reference to character or abilities.
8. All non-German immigration must be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans who entered Germany after 2 August 1914 shall be required to leave the Reich forthwith.
7. We demand that the State shall make it its primary duty to provide a livelihood for its citizens. If it should prove impossible to feed the entire population, foreign nationals (non-citizens) must be deported from the Reich.
10. It must be the first duty of every citizen to perform physical or mental work. The activities of the individual must not clash with the general interest, but must proceed within the framework of the community and be for the general good.
We demand therefore:
11. The abolition of incomes unearned by work.
The breaking of the slavery of interest
13. We demand the nationalization of all businesses which have been formed into corporations (trusts).
14. We demand profit-sharing in large industrial enterprises.
15. We demand the extensive development of insurance for old age.
16. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle class, the immediate communalizing of big department stores, and their lease at a cheap rate to small traders, and that the utmost consideration shall be shown to all small traders in the placing of State and municiple orders.
17. We demand a land reform suitable to our national requirements, the passing of a law for the expropriation of land for communal purposes without compensation; the abolition of ground rent, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.
25. To put the whole of this programme into effect, we demand the creation of a strong central state power for the Reich; the unconditional authority of the political central Parliament over the entire Reich and its organizations; and the formation of Corporations based on estate and occupation for the purpose of carrying out the general legislation passed by the Reich in the various German states.
2. We demand equality of rights for the German people in its dealings with other nations, and the revocation of the peace treaties of Versailles and Saint-Germain.
3. We demand land and territory (colonies) to feed our people and to settle our surplus population.
9. All citizens shall have equal rights and duties.
12. In view of the enormous sacrifices of life and property demanded of a nation by any war, personal enrichment from war must be regarded as a crime against the nation. We demand therefore the ruthless confiscation of all war profits.
18. We demand the ruthless prosecution of those whose activities are injurious to the common interest. Common criminals, usurers, profiteers, etc., must be punished with death, whatever their creed or race.
19. We demand that Roman Law, which serves a materialistic world order, be replaced by a German common law.
20. The State must consider a thorough reconstruction of our national system of education (with the aim of opening up to every able and hard-working German the possibility of higher education and of thus obtaining advancement). The curricula of all educational establishments must be brought into line with the requirements of practical life. The aim of the school must be to give the pupil, beginning with the first sign of intelligence, a grasp of the nation of the State (through the study of civic affairs). We demand the education of gifted children of poor parents, whatever their class or occupation, at the expense of the State.
21. The State must ensure that the nation’s health standards are raised by protecting mothers and infants, by prohibiting child labor, by promoting physical strength through legislation providing for compulsory gymnastics and sports, and by the extensive support of clubs engaged in the physical training of youth.
22. We demand the abolition of the mercenary army and the foundation of a people’s army.
23. We demand legal warfare on deliberate political mendacity and its dissemination in the press. To facilitate the creation of a German national press we demand:
(a) that all editors of, and contributors to newspapers appearing in the German language must be members of the nation;
(b) that no non-German newspapers may appear without the express permission of the State. They must not be printed in the German language;
(c) that non-Germans shall be prohibited by law from participating financially in or influencing German newspapers, and that the penalty for contravening such a law shall be the suppression of any such newspaper, and the immediate deportation of the non-Germans involved.
The publishing of papers which are not conducive to the national welfare must be forbidden. We demand the legal prosecution of all those tendencies in art and literature which corrupt our national life, and the suppression of cultural events which violate this demand.
24. We demand freedom for all religious denominations in the State, provided they do not threaten its existence not offend the moral feelings of the German race.
The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not commit itself to any particular denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and without us, and is convinced that our nation can achieve permanent health only from within on the basis of the principle: The common interest before self-interest.
As a wise man once said, “history is a lesson, and we must learn from our mistakes.” One cannot build a Right-wing society on Left-wing methods because such a system is inherently unstable, which was a potent criticism of National Socialism from the German Old Right.
If one were to design a future system, it might take the National Socialist model and replace the socialist aspects with a reduction of the things that enable monopoly, such as red tape, taxes, unions, regulations, and lawsuit abuse.
When it becomes difficult for a small business to rise, and it can be easily sidetracked by expensive legal fees, taxes, regulatory costs, or labor strikes, only the large companies remain, which causes a union between government and industry at the expense of the ordinary person.
For this reason, a future society would be built on a paleoconservative model, with leadership mostly acting to get itself out of the way, allowing culture to fill in the gap with charity, private education, social norms, taboos, and ideals.
At that point, however, what remains is not government so much as having a hierarchy of leadership such as we had under the aristocrats. Once you start going Right, there is nowhere to stop until you end at the return of kings and the restoration of tradition.