Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nazis Were and Are on the Right

( I am NOT Bernadette Devlin-McAliskey NOR am I connected to her in any way. I discuss naming it after her in the "notes" post)

There are a lot of people who believe that the Nazis were on the Left or that they were half on the Left and half on the Right. This is because the other way to refer to fascists is: “national socialist.” Here are some reasons why the Nazis were much more on the Right than on the Left:

* That Hitler guy was a total ass-hole- NO WAY was he on the Left : ).

(seriously though, here are some reasons)

* I can’t remember exactly what the details were, but Hitler’s regime had a mixed attitude towards capital- some good, some bad (for capital). I believe it was lower taxes on business, but more government intervention (not necessarily for the workers or consumers or other progressive goals, but I imagine for things like the re-arming of Germany) ; I think in the next few weeks I can find the details for this. UPDATE 6/18/12 The Nazis also provided some companies with slave labor.

A: One very good source says that Hjalmar Schacht, "was a staunch defender of capitalism." Although never a member of the Nazi Party, Hitler appointed him head of the Reichsbank in 1933. ++ p. 90

B: Hitler's first economic plan (the Reinhardt Plan) included tax breaks for businesses. ++ p. 91



* They simply got rid of the unions.

* They killed some communists and social-democrats and sent many to concentration camps.

* They elevated race and nation above class and tried to cover up class conflict without doing anything to erase or minimize income inequality.

A: In power the Nazis destroyed the trade-unions on May 2nd 1933. They were replaced by a Nazi employee organization which by the Fall of 1933 included “all working people regardless of economic or social position” including employers. It did two things which were sort of pro-worker: A) they improved some of the conditions that workers labored under- this included things like the playing of music, plants, good lighting, etc.; and B) made it easier for workers to go on relatively cheap vacations or attend concerts, etc.. ++ pp. 96-97
(But, it didn’t do anything to empower workers in labor conflict and did very little or nothing to narrow the financial gap between rich and poor)

* Probably the most important thing is to look at who allowed the Nazis into government. They were centrists and mostly conservatives (i.e. President Paul von Hinderburg). Even after Hitler created a dictatorship, many such politicians continued to be part of Hitler’s government.

* They got a lot of financial support from very successful, mainstream businessmen, especially in the last 2-3 years before they took power.

* A major leader of the Nazi’s left-wing, Otto Strasser left the party in 1930. His brother, Gregor, who had similar beliefs and was also a major leader of the Nazi left, was killed by Hitler’s men in 1934.

*They supported the right-wing side in the Spanish Civil War.

* Today’s neo-Nazis generally place themselves on the Right and in conflict with the left. This is found in the lyrics of Nazi Skinhead bands, and while they occasionally say something anti-capitalist, they much more frequently make anti-communist and anti-Left statements and pro-Right statements. American white supremacists spend much more time trying to work within the GOP than they do trying to work within the Democratic Party.


++ Jackson J. Spielvogel Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History Prentice Hall, 1996


In a blog discussion here another poster named "Ian" added three more facts:

* “They were ferociously anti-gay, imprisoning and killing thousands of gay men.”

* “They reintroduced Christian prayer into schools.”

* “They were anti-abortion, at least when it came to gentile Germans.”


UPDATE 8/9/12 The Southern Poverty Law Center published a good article about this, here.

No comments: