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Hitler the Socialist

Sim

Registered Member
Was Hitler a socialist? Is socialism inherently evil?

It seems the buzzwords "socialism", "fascism" and "communism" are thrown around in the debate recently, in the attempt to attach evil deeds with them, or to attack the respective political opponent. In order to have a fruitful debate, maybe it would be helpful to define these words first, and to look at historical facts:

First, it seems to be en vogue to label anything as "socialism" that's not conservative-style laissez faire capitalism. I think this use of the word doesn't do justice neither to the term "socialism", nor to the concept of a "republican, constitutional system". Nationalizing a few banks, limited regulation of the economy and social welfare systems don't make "socialism". Monarchist-conservative German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck introduced encompassing social welfare systems in the 1880's, including health insurance and public pensions. Obviously, it would be ridiculous to label Bismarck a "socialist".

Then let's have a look at German history: The socialist party SPD (Social Democrats) was the strongest supporter of a constitutional, republican, democratic system during the Kaiserreich, and they were leading the revolution in 1918 to topple monarchy. It was mostly the socialists who established the free, republican Weimar system, along with the Christian Centrists, also for the price of making the communists their enemy. They stood strictly against communism, revolutionary Marxism from the left and fascism or restaurative, authoritarian monarchism from the right. The SPD was the only party to vote against Hitler's "Enabling Act" in 1933, because they wanted to preserve constitutional republicanism. Obviously, "socialism" and flirts with Marxism do not necessarily lead into tyranny. In fact, this brand of political ideology was the only thing that stood against the Nazis in Weimar.

The Nazis, often considered a brand of fascism, were certainly not "socialist" in that original sense of the word. It's true they took many elements from socialism (or rather communism), but they took at least as many ideological elements from the conservative and right side of that time. For example, the main elements of Nazism that are usually closely associated with Nazism today -- militarism, anti-Semitism, racism, imperialistic ambitions -- were taken from the right of that time. It were the monarchist conservatives that had run the country on an ideology of imperialism, racial superiority, militaristic values and ambitions for world domination from 1871 to 1918, often opposed by the socialists, who had a strong internationalist and pacifist wing. That's why the Nazi Party allied with the monarchist-conservative DNVP (National-German People's Party) by the end of Weimar, and why this coalition was the one that finally brought the Nazis into power. And that's why Hitler attempted to sell the myth of a unbroken continuity -- Frederick the Great, Hindenburg, Hitler -- of German nationalism to the masses, at the "Day of Potsdam", when monarchist-conservative President Hindenburg shook hands with Hitler in public. Also, that is why the Nazis called their nation the "Third Reich" (after the "First Reich" of the Holy Roman Empire and the "Second Reich" of the monarchy from 1871 to 1918), and why they skipped the democratic colors black-red-yellow (that were en vogue among liberals, socialists and all people who supported constitutional republicanism) to replace them with the conservative-monarchist colors of black-white-red once again. The constitutional republic of Weimar was accordingly just called "the system" by the Nazis, an allegedly "socialist and democratic abberation" dominated by "socialists, Jews and democrats". The last genuine Germany, in their eyes, had been the conservative Kaiserreich.

The Nazis did all they could to evoke the impression they continue the true conservative tradition of the authoritarian, monarchist Germany, against any attempts for liberal-constitutional revolution from the side of socialists, liberals, or democrats, and in order to do so, they allied with monarchists and conservatives. The Nazis' intellectual elite -- think of law philosopher Carl Schmitt, for example -- was recruited from the so called "conservative revolution" of the 20s, all intellectuals who opposed socialism and republicanism, but instead supported monarchist conservatism, a monarchist restauration or, in the end, Nazism. And the rabid anti-Semitism had been a specialty of the right, before the Nazis took advantage of it, often opposed by socialists who were internationalist and many of which were Jews themselves. And the militaristic "Kadavergehorsam"-authoritarianism was directly taken from the monarchist-conservative playbook, often opposed by pacifist socialists.

But of course, Nazism was not "conservative" or "monarchist", despite these attempts. There were also many socialist elements in Nazism. But just because the Nazis copied these elements, and merged them with elements that originated from the right, doesn't mean they were "socialist" or "left". The Nazis combined elements from both right and left to appeal to as many people as possible. And I'd say the crucial bunch of ideas, which made Nazism so horrible, was not the idea of universal health care i.e. copied from the left, but the militarism, authoritarianism and anti-Semitism copied from the right.

Also, before someone here misunderstands me, let me note that "conservatism" did mean something very different back then, than what it means today. I don't mean to smear conservatism in general. But fact it, the Nazis rode on a wave of conservative thought in 1920s' Germany, and what made them ultimately successful was their attempt at painting themselves as a bulwark against leftist ideas of republicanism, pacifism, equality and internationalism -- in an alliance with conservative monarchists.

The socialists of that time favored equality, and eleminating barriers between different classes and nationalities. Some advocated class warfare to achieve that goal. The Nazis favored nothing of that kind: They were only in favor of equality only insofar as "Volksgenossen" were concerned, but they were strictly against the idea of equality between different nationalities or even races. They did not want class warfare, but race warfare. You may say both is equally bad, but it's obviously a different kind of animal nevertheless.
 

SmilinSilhouette

Registered Member
@ Sim: The term conservative is relative to both time and place. A conservative in the present US is quite different from a conservative in pre-WWII germany.

@ Tuck: :lol: When I saw you posted in this thread I was like ....WHA?!...
 

Sim

Registered Member
@ Sim: The term conservative is relative to both time and place. A conservative in the present US is quite different from a conservative in pre-WWII germany.
Indeed. I said so much in my original posting.

Yet some things are still prevalent among conservatives in general: Like extreme "patriotism" that borders to nationalism (think of how often the right smears evil "liberals" by claiming they "hate America", just because they don't wave the flag quickly enough, or when they point to existing shortcoming, or just disagree with the former Führer, uh, President), or, among American conservatives, a horrible, arrogant, nationalistic exceptionalism, the claim America is anyhow better than other countries.

Take for example this statement:

"And an ever-growing government that wants us to be more like the rest of the world, than the other way around."
YouTube - Rubio for Senate TV Ad, "A Generational Choice"

Watch this and wonder why so many people hate America's right! :lol:

Seriously, people who buy this BS must be completely ignorant of the rest of the world, and it's like the kind of people who regularly laugh their asses off when there are jokes about the French's inclination to surrender, bad dental hygiene of the British or all other kinds of BS that stem from the fact they have never left their own country, hardly ever talked to foreigners, of course never learnt a foreign language and just spent all their lives on the countryside, getting told by demagogues how special they are.

The ignorance and arrogance rhetorics like these stem from is really without any example (unless we look into history, as we originally did ...) :cool: America is exceptional ... exceptionally ignorant and arrogant.
------
And this is where this video above directly leads to:

YouTube - Bagram Prison Exposed

But who cares? Those are just terrorist sandn*ggers with the right shade of brown, and probably terrorists by default (they are wearing a turban, after all!). They are not American. And we all know non-Americans are not worth as much as Americans, because Americans are "exceptional". That is why there are no "human" rights, just rights that apply to American citizens.

When looking at that, it seems America is not that "exceptional" anymore, but just goes where others say "been there, done that, long ago".
 
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CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
I'm trying to understand how a statement like this is somehow bad:

"And an ever-growing government that wants us to be more like the rest of the world, than the other way around."
The things the US was founded on were novel in the 18th century. It was founded on freedoms and limitations not recognized before. The US is different. That's just the way it is. I don't think it's offensive in any way to believe we want to retain a certain way of life and not want to go the way some other countries are going. There are probably millions of people in Europe who cannot imagine living the way we do in the US and that's fine. I don't find that offensive at all.

I'm at a loss as to how anyone can take the statement Rubio made hate anyone. It seems asinine to me.

EDIT: in regards to the video of the prison 1) those are allegations yet to be proved 2) those conclusions make absolutely no sense.
 
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