During the last decades members of academia, journalists and left-wing activists have endeavored to hide the ideological roots of Nazism and transform it into a “far-right” phenomenon.
Much of it has to do in this rewriting of history with the ease with which, through language, they have hidden the word “Socialism”, so that in this way the National Socialist Party ended up becoming simply the Nazi Party, and thus began a process that would turn one of the greatest exponents of the collectivist left into a “right-wing” monster that persecuted the “poor, innocent Communists”.
This persecution is precisely one of the main arguments used by the international left to declare Fascism and Nazism as “ultra-right” movements, since, although it is true that Hitler and Mussolini fought against Communists and Socialists, it is not because some were right-wing and others left-wing, but precisely because of conflicting visions of Socialism. On the one hand, the Bolsheviks, through the Comintern, wanted to internationalize their movement, and Hitler and Mussolini believed in a nationalist and autarchic Socialism for racial reasons. Besides this, and although it may sound crazy, Hitler considered that he represented authentic Socialism, and that the Marxists were representatives of the most vile international capitalism dominated by the Jews; that is to say, for Hitler, Marxism was capitalist, not to mention social democrats.
Throughout that essay called Mein Kampf, which would later give life to the Nazi movement, the father of German National Socialism, Adolf Hitler, on numerous occasions refers to Karl Marx as a simple tool of international capitalist Judaism, so he considered that his movement should attract all the sympathizers of the extreme left, which were his target audience:
“The source from which our nascent movement will have to recruit its followers will therefore be, in the first place, the working mass. The mission of our movement in this order will consist in wrenching the German worker from the utopia of internationalism, freeing him from his social misery and redeeming him from the sad cultural milieu in which he lives, to make him a valuable factor of unity, animated by national sentiments and an equally national will in the whole of our people (…).”
“The fact that at the present time millions of men intimately feel the desire for a radical change in the existing conditions, proves the profound disappointment that dominates in them. Witnesses of this deep discontent are undoubtedly their indifference to electoral competitions and also the many who are inclined to join the fanatical ranks of the extreme left. And it is precisely to these that our young movement has, above all, to address itself.”
Did Nazism defend private property and capitalism?
Another argument used to rewrite history is that the Nazis “defended private property”, which is completely false. As in Fascist Italy, Hitler allowed the continued existence of “private enterprise” on the sine qua non condition that it be dedicated to producing for and by the state.
In Nazi Germany there was a Betriebsführer, who acted as leader or owner of the factory or trade, together with the Gefolgschaft, who represented the mass of the workers; but these had to subordinate themselves under the principle of the Führerprinzip, according to which the companies had to function under hierarchical principles equal to the military branch in ascending order, offering absolute obedience, where of course, Hitler was the head. For this purpose the Führer appointed a Gauleiter, who was a kind of zone leader to whom the Betriebsführer had to obey. It was the Gauleiter under Hitler’s supervision who determined what the companies were going to produce, how much, how, in what way would it be distributed, what was the salary that the workers would earn, what were the working hours, they even determined the prices that would be charged and the entire structuring of all the companies.
The entrepreneur or employer was only a nominal representation of the owner, but it was the Nazi state who had possession of the means of production, for it was they who exercised the substantive powers of ownership, from whom they also subtracted profits via taxation. Economist Ludwig von Mises classified them as follows: “The position of the supposed private owners was essentially reduced to that of pensioners of the government.”
In 1935, a debate on economics took place within the Nazi party. On one side was Hjalmar Schacht together with Friedrich Goerdeler, who was in charge of price control and warned Hitler that they should abandon protectionism, reduce economic intervention, abandon the autarkic project and of course, advocate free market measures; his opponent was Hermann Goring, who was in favor of continuing along the current path. In the end, Hitler listened to Goring, so Schacht resigned, and the Nazi Party continued to promote iron-fisted controlling Statism until his last days.
Basically, Hitler applied a kind of military Keynesianism, with which public investment and spending soared thanks to Mefo bonds, which was a shell company that acted as an intermediary between the armament companies and the Nazi state, together with the provisions provided by the spoils of war; over-indebtedness and uncontrolled money printing to finance works generated a bubble of momentary prosperity in which highways, railroads, hydroelectric dams were built, the Volkswagen (the people’s car) was manufactured, the “Nazi Welfare State” was financed, and of course, the armament industry was consolidated.
The importance of reading Mein Kampf to understand Hitler
In these two fallacies, that Hitler fought Communism for being right-wing, and that he supported private enterprise, the myth of National Socialism as an “ultra-right” referent is built, but it does not stop there, fortunately for those of us who want to objectively evaluate history, Adolf Hitler wrote a book that immortalized his thought, and this cannot be altered, in it, one of the greatest murderers in history left phrases such as:
“The collective takes precedence over the individual”.
“Posterity forgets the men who labored solely for their own profit and glorifies the heroes who renounced personal happiness.”
“If one were to ask oneself, what are in reality the forces that create or, at least, sustain a State, one could, in summary, formulate the following concept: Spirit and willingness of sacrifice of the individual for the benefit of the collective. That these virtues have nothing in common with economics, flows from the simple consideration that man never goes to the point of sacrifice for the latter, that is to say, that he does not die for business, but for ideals”.
In that sense it is totally clear that Hitler did not believe in the individual, and that he considered that the collective should always be above the individual, a basic principle of the purest Marxism, only that as we have been clarifying, the father of Nazism considered that Marxism, together with social democracy obeyed the interests of international capitalism, as he states in Mein Kampf during what he makes known as “The Causes of Disaster”:
“The internationalization of the German economy had already been initiated before the war by means of the joint-stock company system. Fortunately, a part of German industry tried at all costs to escape the same fate; but in the end it too had to yield to the concentrated attack of greedy capitalism, which was aided by its most faithful associate, the Marxist movement. The persistent war waged against the steel industry in Germany marked the real beginning of the internationalization of the German economy so longed for by Marxism, which could be fulfilled with the Marxist triumph in the revolution of November 1918. Just as I am writing these pages, the general attack directed against the Reich Railways, which passed into the hands of international finance, has also been achieved. With this the ‘international’ Social Democracy has achieved another of its important objectives.”
Hitler was fully convinced that he was the true left-wing revolutionary who defended German national sovereignty, and that both social democrats and Marxists were part of this Jewish-dominated axis that simply sought to create a false conflict in order to take over the world and his precious Germany:
“The same problem, but this time in much larger proportions, had again presented itself to the state and the nation. Millions of people were migrating from the countryside to the big cities to earn their daily sustenance as factory workers in the newly created industries. While the bourgeoisie does not concern itself with such a momentous problems and views the course of things with indifference, the Jew becomes aware of the unlimited prospects there for the future and, organizing on the one hand, with absolute consequence, the capitalist methods of human exploitation, approaches, on the other hand, the victims of their manipulations and then becomes the leader of the ‘struggle against himself’; that is to say, ‘against himself’ only in a figurative sense, because the ‘great master of lies’ always knows how to present himself as innocent, attributing blame to others. And since he has the nerve to lead the masses himself, they do not realize that this could be the most infamous fraud of all times.
Let us see how the Jew proceeds in this case: He approaches the worker and, in order to gain his confidence, he feigns commiseration towards him and even seems to be indignant at his misery and poverty. Then he endeavors to study all the real or imaginary hardships of the worker’s life and tends to awaken in him a yearning for the improvement of his conditions. The feeling of social justice that in some way exists latent in every Aryan, the Jew knows how to teach it, in an infinitely skillful way, towards hatred against the better off, thus giving it an absolutely definite ideological stamp towards the struggle against social evils.
Thus the Jew founds the Marxist doctrine. By presenting this doctrine as intimately connected with a series of just social demands, he favors the propagation of these and provokes, on the contrary, the resistance of the well-intentioned against the realization of demands proclaimed in such a form and with such characteristics that from the very beginning they appear unjust and even impossible to be fulfilled.
In accordance with the aims pursued by the Jewish struggle, which are not only the economic conquest of the world, but also seek the political subjugation of it, the Jew divides the organization of Marxist doctrine into two parts, which, apparently separated, are in the end an indivisible whole: the political movement and the syndicalist movement. Politically, the Jew ends up substituting the idea of democracy for that of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The most terrible example in that order is offered by Russia, where the Jew, with a truly fanatical savagery, caused thirty million people to perish of hunger or under ferocious tortures, with the sole purpose of assuring in this way to a group of Jews, literati and stock exchange bandits, the hegemony over a whole people.”
“I am the authentic socialist”
It is evident that Hitler considered that National Socialism was the authentic Socialism, from this struggle against internationalist Marxism this premise of struggle between opposite ideological poles is sold, then begins to build the metanarrative that Nazism, along with his partner in battles, Fascism, were far-right movements; in that sense, the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk stated:
“That left-wing Fascism liked to present itself as Communism, was a trap for moralists. Mao Zedong was never anything other than a Chinese nationalist of the Fascist left, who in his early days spoke in the jargon of Moscow’s Communist International. Compared to the pleasant extermination promoted by Mao, Hitler looks like a rickety letter carrier. However, the comparison between monsters is not pleasant to anyone. The most massive ideological deception of the 20th century was precisely that after 1945 the Fascist left accused the rightists of Fascism, in order to finally look like their opponents. In reality it was a self-amnesty. The more the horrors of the “right” were exposed as unforgivable, the more the left disappeared from the visual field.”
The Austrian philosopher, jurist and economist, Friedrich Hayek, in his most famous work Road to Serfdom, also clarifies about the founding ideological principles of National Socialism:
“In Germany, the connection between Socialism and Nationalism was close from the very beginning. It is significant that the most important predecessors of National Socialism – Fitche, Rodbertus and Lassalle – were at the same time acknowledged fathers of Socialism. While theoretical Socialism in its Marxist form led the German labor movement, the authoritarian and nationalist element temporarily receded into the background.”
On this matter, there is no room for doubt, and as Hitler affirmed, they had to aim at capturing the youth of the extreme left, not in vain all the Nazi propaganda from the point of view of speech, colors, and art, was identical to Bolshevik propaganda. Hayek also elaborates on this matter:
“No less significant is the intellectual history of many of the Nazi and Fascist leaders. Everyone who has observed the development of these movements in Italy or Germany has been surprised at the number of leaders, from Mussolini on down (and not excluding Laval and Quisling), who began as Socialists and ended up as Fascists or Nazis. The relative ease with which a young Communist can become Nazi, or vice versa, was well known in Germany, and better than anyone else the propagandists of both parties knew it. Many British university professors saw this in the 1930s when returning from the Continent, there were English and American students who did not know whether they were Communists or Nazis, but were sure they hated Western liberal civilization.
It is true, of course, that in Germany before 1933, and in Italy before 1922, Communists and Nazis or Fascists clashed more frequently with each other than with other parties. They both competed for the favor of the same type of mentality and reserved for each other the hatred of the heretic. But their actions showed how closely they were related. For both, the real enemy, the man with whom they had nothing in common and whom they had no hope of convincing, was the liberal of the old type. While to the Nazi the Communist, and to the Communist the Nazi, and to both the Socialist, were potential recruits, made of the good stock even if they obeyed false prophets, both knew that there was no compromise between them and those who truly believe in individual liberty.”
On September 19, 2019, the European Parliament adopted a resolution entitled “Importance of European Historical Memory for the Future of Europe”, in it, it determines that:
- World War II, the most devastating war in the history of Europe, was the direct result of the infamous Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Treaty of August 23, 1939, also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and its secret protocols, which allowed two totalitarian regimes, sharing the goal of conquering the world, to divide Europe into two zones of influence;
- The Nazi and Communist regimes committed mass murder, genocide and deportation and were responsible for a loss of human life and freedom in the 20th century on a scale never before seen in human history; it also recalls the heinous crimes of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazi regime; it condemns in the strongest terms the acts of aggression, crimes against humanity and massive violations of human rights perpetrated by the Communist, Nazi and other totalitarian regimes.
However, most probably more than 70 years after that devastating war, surely you or a large part of the world population remember Hitler as the anti-Christ himself, but on the other hand, you have a fairly neutral opinion, or in some cases a favorable one towards Stalin’s regime, or Mao’s, when the last two murdered many more people, haven’t you wondered why?
Well, the answer is very simple” Nazism and Fascism were transformed by the internationalist Marxist left into ultra-right phenomena, at the “service of world capitalism”, and due to their misrepresentations, from there on their bad press increased while Stalin’s history of crimes was kept under wraps.
However, it is extremely important that the new generations truly understand history to be able to make ideological definitions. Mao and Stalin were equally or more perverse and murderous than Hitler himself, and the most important thing of all, is that they were all Socialists, it was always a left-wing battle.
Today in the United States this phenomenon of denaturalization of history is occurring, the Progressive Liberal left is trying to demonize American Conservatives and Libertarians as “Nazis and Fascists”, when the truth is that they are closer to the political and economic postulates of the Nazis themselves, who consider that the collective must be above the individual, that the problems can be solved simply by printing trillions of dollars through the Federal Reserve, with high taxes or by intervening rigorously in the economy, and who for a long time have already started a witch hunt to cancel, repress, and expel from social and economic circles those who go against woke culture.
Reagan said in an interview with 60 Overtime: “You know, someone very profound once said, many years ago, that if Fascism ever comes to America, it will come in the name of Liberalism (Progressivism)”, and yes, it seems that the prophecy has come true.
Disclaimer: Most of this paper is part of Emmanuel Rincón’s book The Ideological Reinvention of Latin America.