Talk:Nazi Party

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q:Why is the Nazi Party labeled a far-right party? They called themselves socialists, so should they be left-wing?
A: Almost all historical and present-day academic literature places the Nazi Party on the far-right of the traditional left-right spectrum, which in turn is the most common short-form classification used in political science. The Nazis themselves attacked both left-wing and traditional right-wing politicians and movements in Germany as being traitors to Germany. While the Nazi regime's economic policies are very different from those of present-day right-wing parties that adhere to classical liberal or neoliberal positions (which advocate, e.g., a highly deregulated, privatized economic environment), Nazi economic policy was typical of the early to mid twentieth century far-right, and indeed most political currents of the time, in that it embraced interventionist economics. The Nazi Party absorbed the far-right reactionary monarchist and nationalist German National People's Party into its membership in 1933. The Nazi Party also held good relations with openly right-wing political movements in Europe, such as the Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right, whose leader Gil-Robles was a guest at the 1933 Nazi Party Nuremberg rally and sought to model his movement upon the Nazi Party.
Q: If socialism is mainly left-wing and they called themselves socialists in their name, why is this being ignored?
A: Historically several right-wing figures used the term "socialism" to mean something very different from what would be understood by traditional left-wing socialism, referring simply to the broader concept of collectivism and anti-individualism. For instance, "conservative socialism" was promoted by Austrian political figure Metternich. The prominent French reactionary monarchist Charles Maurras famously said "a socialism liberated from the democratic and cosmopolitan element fits nationalism well as a well made glove fits a beautiful hand". Mauras' views influenced fascism. Oswald Spengler's ideal of "Prussian Socialism" directly influenced Nazism, and Spengler promoted it as a member of the far-right Conservative Revolutionary movement.
Q: Were the Nazis actually a capitalist movement?
A: The answer depends on the context and definition of capitalism. Hitler in private was just as opposed to the ethos of capitalism as he was in public as a politician, he regarded the capitalist ethos as being self-centred individualism that was incompatible with patriotism. Furthermore in both public and private Hitler regarded capitalism as being created by the Jews for their own interests. Hitler promoted effectively mercantilism through policies of colonial expansion in Eastern Europe to gain access to natural resources to make Germany self-sufficient and no longer dependent on international trade. The Nazis in public and in private held contempt for bourgeois culture in liberal capitalist societies - as they associated such bourgeois culture with a cosmopolitan, liberal, and decadent lifestyle that was incompatible with the Nazis' ideal of a nationalist martial ethic of disciplined soldiers who were collectively committed to the Fatherland above any individual interest. So ideologically, Nazism held strong antipathy to capitalism. However at the same time Hitler and the Nazis endorsed private property and private enterprise and did not challenge the market economy, which was important to their accrual of power because it avoided antagonizing industrialists and aristocrats. The Nazis themselves claimed that "true socialism" did not involve the Marxian opposition to private property. But if capitalism is defined in a minimum way as involving the support of the existence of private property, private enterprise and a market economy, then from that minimum definition, the Nazis could be considered as endorsing a capitalist economy.
Q: Did Nazi Germany invent universal health care?
A: No, Nazi Germany did not invent universal health care. It was first implemented in Germany, but in the German Empire under Otto von Bismarck in the 1880s. Bismarck implemented universal health care in response to address growing demands for social welfare policies by socialist movements such as the Social Democratic Party of Germany, as well as studies and government reports that declared the need for universal health care.
Q: Are there people who still support the Nazis?
A: Yes, they are called Neo-Nazis. They still exist even though the party, itself, is dissolved.
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Article's intro gives the impression the Nazis may have been Socialist[edit]

If I was a high school student looking up this subject for the first time, I wouldn't get the clear impression that the Nazis were an anti-Socialist, anti-union party from the paragraph I have quoted below. There is a tendency among people on the political Right (in the USA in particular) to try to disown the Nazis and label them socialist because of their name. The Nazis were no more socialist than the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (Nth Korea) or the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) were democratic. Using a buzz word of the era in your name doesn't make you that thing, it's just advertising. While the paragraph below eludes to the fact that the Nazis weren't properly a Left-wing party, it still leaves the perception. Remember the Nazis were pro-capitalist, union-busting, anti-socialist thugs - and that needs to be made clearer. To say that anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric was "downplayed" is the understatement of the century. The fact is that the Nazis represented these interests and were supported into power by them. I don't see Stalin being portrayed as Right-wing because of his Russian nationalism and authoritarianism, so let's not leave the impression that Hitler is sort of Left-wing/socialist.

Quote: "The party emerged from the German nationalist, racist and populist Freikorps paramilitary culture, which fought against the communist uprisings in post-World War I Germany.[6] Advocacy of a form of socialism by right-wing figures and movements in Germany became common during and after World War I, influencing Nazism.[7] Arthur Moeller van den Bruck of the Conservative Revolutionary movement coined the term "Third Reich",[8] and advocated an ideology combining the nationalism of the right and the socialism of the left.[9] Prominent Conservative Revolutionary member Oswald Spengler's conception of a "Prussian Socialism" influenced the Nazis.[10] The party was created as a means to draw workers away from communism and into völkisch nationalism.[11] Initially, Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric, although such aspects were later downplayed in order to gain the support of industrial entities, and in the 1930s the party's focus shifted to anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist themes.[12]" (talk) 20:01, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

Ugh... They were anti-socialist, but also incorporated certain elements of socialist ideology. That's the issue in a nutshell. It may seem mutually-exclusive somehow, but when you think about it, its really not: one can espouse certain aspects of socialism, while being opposed to the ideology as a whole. But.. does this ever end? Left-wing users talking about how they were anti-socialist, right-wingers claiming they were socialist. The way this is going we could possibly use an entire dedicated section covering the issue (not that I'm crazy enough to write it). -- Director (talk) 00:28, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree with the IP. The socialist angle is better explained in depth in the Nazism article, which is about the ideology. Typical of New Right analysis, there is very little mention of in this article of the holocaust or the Second World War, which are far more significant. TFD (talk) 00:44, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
In the light of the more differentiated discussion in the body of the article and the problems with the meaning of "socialism" in context (also addressed in the above FAQ). I tend to agree that the introduction, in particular the sentence "Advocacy of a form of socialism by right-wing figures and movements in Germany became common during and after World War I, influencing Nazism." is misleading. It would also be possible (and misleading) to cite the influence of, for instance, Christianity and Hitler's admiration for Jesus. I suggest removing the sentence "Advocacy of a form of socialism by right-wing figures and movements in Germany became common during and after World War I, influencing Nazism." from the lead. It is not necessary to include this discussion in the introduction, and, since it is merely attempting to summarize what is already in the body of the article, there should be no problem with simply removing the sentence from the lead. --Boson (talk) 09:07, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
Great discussion you guys. It's the inferences drawn from the aforementioned paragraph that is the issue, which I think has been understood if I've read your comments correctly. That certain elements of the Nazi platform could be described as Socialist is kind of beside the point. For example, the Republicans vote funding for public libraries, public schools, public roads, etc. yet we don't describe them as socialist or left-wing (unless you're a a rabid libertarian). This is simply part of the business of government. As I said it's the ambiguity of the paragraph that is problematic and could lead to misunderstandings of who the Nazi Party were. If you stood for genuine socialist principles in Nazi Germany, you ended up in a concentration camp. (talk) 11:23, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
@Boson: I also think the last sentence: "Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric, although such aspects were later downplayed in order to gain the support of industrial entities" also needs to be modified. It implies that the Nazis were anti these things and toned down their rhetoric for political reasons when in fact the Nazis were pro these things, served and were supported by these interests and instead played up pseudo-socialist rhetoric to appeal to the man on the street all the while being labour and union busting. Remember, the Nazis were masters of doublespeak. (talk) 11:30, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
I agree. The wording – deliberately or inadvertently – introduces a right-wing slant that is not supported by the cited source. The source would equally support

"Hitler was implacably opposed to the socialists. However, he admired their ability to mobilize the masses, so the early Nazi Party also employed anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric, which was later dropped."

So that problem could perhaps be fixed by rewording the sentence to better reflect the overall tenor of the cited book, which states:

"Hitler was already a fervent anti-Marxist during his time in Vienna. He had a 'great hatred' of the Social Democratic Party, because of the devotion of its supporters towards socialist ideas. Yet there were aspects of the socialist left he did admire, particularly the ability of the Social Democratic Party to make effective use of propaganda to attract the masses and their ability to go out on the streets in demonstrations and parades, carrying flags and banners to emphasise the strength and unity of their supporters. Hitler believed only by challenging the socialists on the streets could they be stopped from winning over the masses to their ideas. "

--Boson (talk) 16:30, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
For what its worth: disagree to any de-emphasis of socialist aspects of the party. They're crucial to understanding its exact political position, and are de-emphasized as it is. Lots of sources were brought forward on that topic. And while said aspects were indeed subdued, as the Nazis essentially entered power basically in coalition with the conservatives - they were never really "dropped". The Nazis/SS and the conservative army were more often at odds than not - in fact religious ultraconservative officers plotted a coup at a half-dozen points, and staged several assassinations (including the July bomb plot). This is a big part of who the Nazis were and what happened to them.
But I say "for what its worth" because the left-wing position pretty much dominates this issue on Wiki, and sources that disagree are sort of de-emphasized themselves or ignored. Every other thread on these articles is random readers writing in protest over the said perceived bias. -- Director (talk) 20:20, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
I think Boston's edits are heading in the correct direction. Director: the issue is that the Nazis were a rabidly anti-socialist party, yet the section of the article in question leaves the impression that they were somehow socialist - which is a gross distortion of history. It's the kind of manufactured history you might see on Fox News. The paragraph sounds like it's written by a member of the Tea Party trying to reinvent the Nazis as some sort of right-wing socialists, despite that being a contradiction in terms. Hitler was implacably opposed to socialist ideas. To say there is left-wing bias operating here is ridiculous - the Nazi concentration camps were full of socialists, social democrats, unionists, and so on. As I mentioned earlier, we don't label Stalin a right-winger due to his Russian nationalism and authoritarianism, because the basis of his worldview was left-wing. We also don't say that the Russian communists were kind of capitalist just because of the NEP. (talk) 01:04, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
The reality is that all right-wingers copy the Left in some way. Fox News hosts rail against the "elites" and support "democracy." Disraeli supported Tory socialism, Bismarck supported state socialism, even Metternich called himself a socialist. It does not make them left-wing. The traditional conservative appeal - your betters know more and will protect you - rarely works under universal suffrage. TFD (talk) 02:33, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. rabidly anti-socialist. To the point that Hitler repeatedly referred to Nazi Germany in speeches as "socialist Germany". Look, I'm not saying the Nazi Party or Hitler can be accurately described as "socialist", but to term them "anti-socialist" is to create more confusion than sense. They incorporated many aspects of socialism, and actually considered themselves "socialists". They were vehemently and indeed rabidly opposed to the Social-Democrats and Communists, but then Communists and Social-Democrats also despised each-other, even more than they did the Nazis (speaking of the 30s here).
Lets not conflate opposition to Social Democracy and Communism (which is no doubt what this refers to), with opposition to the much more general concept of Socialism. We stand to contradict ourselves. If someone adopts many aspects of socialist ideology, and calls himself a socialist - he is by no means necessarily a socialist. But he certainly can not be branded an "anti-socialist" without quite a caveat.
To be clear, in my original post I understood "anti-Socialist" as essentially referring to NSDAP opposition to the Communists, and Social-Democrats in particular (which was a very prominent part of their campaign). Now I realize the term may be very confusing, as the Nazis can not really be described as anti-"Socialist" in the widest sense. And doing so does indeed contradict our description of their ideology, which (indisputably) includes elements of Socialism. -- Director (talk) 04:51, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Sorry Director, you've lost me. You are saying that Hitler wasn't anti-socialist? You are attempting to sew confusion by claiming he wasn't when CLEARLY he was. That is an inversion of history and reality. I think you should go back to your history books - the credible ones that is. You've also made the sophomoric mistake of thinking that using "socialist" in your name (because it is a buzz word of the time) is the same thing as being socialist. Is North Korea democratic because it is called the Peoples' Democratic Republic of Korea? Hitler didn't "adopt many aspects of socialist ideology" at all, what sources are you consulting? Conservapedia? Using your logic you can argue that the Republican Party are socialists. As an analogy, as far as I'm aware, every mainstream party of the Right in the Western world, the USA excepted, support some form of national health service - but I think they'd be surprised to learn that they are socialist parties. In the same vein you won't find many socialist parties in these same countries who want to abolish private property any more, but I doubt they (or their opponents) would regard them as purveyors of capitalism. As it stands the paragraph in question is a clear distortion of history. At first I thought it was an innocent mistake, but now I am coming to believe it is an attempt by ideologically motivated editors to misrepresent what the Nazi Party was. Outside of the U.S. I'm not aware of anyone (who is taken seriously) who has tried to pass the Nazis off as socialist. As far as I'm aware Wikipedia hasn't become Fox News yet, or am I wrong? (talk) 05:18, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
In any case this discussion is largely beside the point now. Wikipedia follows a mainstream POV policy and the mainstream POV is that the Nazi Party isn't socialist and it belongs to the Far Right. There is also no such generally recognised concept as right-wing socialism, which is a contradiction in terms. The fact that the Tea Party, or the Libertarians, or whoever, may disagree/invert reality is beside the point - the paragraph needs to be amended to remove its false inferences. In particular the misleading introduction stating "advocacy of a form of socialism by right-wing figures and movements in Germany became common during and after World War I, influencing Nazism." This creates unnecessary ambiguity and undue emphasis on an obscure footnote in the Nazi story. It certainly doesn't belong in the introduction! Also the sentence "Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric, although such aspects were later downplayed in order to gain the support of industrial entities" also needs to be modified. It implies that the Nazis were anti these things and toned down their rhetoric for political reasons when in fact the Nazis were pro these things, served and were supported by these interests and instead played up pseudo-socialist rhetoric to appeal to the man on the street all the while being labour and union busting. (talk) 06:11, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Ok, I'll try to lay it out: the NSDAP was opposed to Social Democrats and Communists. It was not anti-"Socialist" in the widest, general sense - and therefore we should avoid engendering confusion by using that term. In fact its probably safe to assume no Nazi never made a single statement, anywhere, disparaging "Socialism" - because its in the name of their own party. Instead you get Hitler jabbering about his "socialist Germany" (11 December 1941), and "building Socialism" etc. etc. Just for example:

"Is there a nobler or more excellent kind of Socialism and is there a truer form of Democracy than this National Socialism..."

— Reichstag, 30 January 1937
And of course, while the NSDAP can certainly not be called "socialist", there's really no dispute that it was influenced by, and did incorporate elements of, that ideology (the debate concerns mainly the question of degree). -- Director (talk) 12:37, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned the debate (here) concerns what the wording used in the introduction implies or insinuates, which, in my opinion, is neither in accord with the facts nor with the tenor of the literature adduced to support that wording. My example above was meant to demonstrate how the cited source can be used (illegitimately) to support somewhat tendentious statements in either direction (my use of the purposive "so" was meant to mirror the current content's use of the concessive "although"). As it stands, I would favour removing the whole paragraph from the introduction and examining whether the relevant body section needs modifying. I am not convinced that the necessary subtleties can be conveyed concisely in the introduction, and "socialist" is really not an essential part of the description of the Nazi Party. --Boson (talk) 13:33, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Yeah. Why would "Socialist" need addressing in a party called "National Socialist".. that's just crazy talk. I'll make a few points here:
  • "Right-wing Socialism" is in no way an inherently self-contradicting term. There is a huge spectrum of views in "Socialism", some more radical, and to left, others less so and therefore to the right.
  • There is absolutely no question that, whatever their "secret true allegiance" was - Nazi rhetoric very much did "focus on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalist rhetoric", which was later toned down. That is absolutely correct, and very relevant as to the political position of the Nazis, which deserves lead coverage. I tend to place speculation as to this being deliberate deception on the part of the Nazis, who were "really" working for the banks and money interests, even Jews etc. - into the same category as any other conspiracy theory. There is no question that the Nazis toned down such rhetoric when they came to power, but that is only to be expected given that they did so in cooperation with the conservatives. And that cooperation was a pretty recent thing in 1933.
Can anyone provide hard evidence that this is a misrepresentation of the cited sources? Because I've researched this party extensively and its perfectly in-line with what is generally said: early on more to the left, later got cozy with the conservatives to take power, and moved more to the right, which necessitated the Night of the Long Knives to deal with the left wing of the party, etc, etc... Pretty basic.
I find all this looks most like ideological "outrage" at the fact the article states Nazis shared some of the same rhetoric as actual socialists. I'm afraid that's very true and easily sourced in general. -- Director (talk) 14:25, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The Nazi position was that Marxian socialism (which included the SDP) was based on the view that power should be held by the working class. The Nazis altered that to say that power should be held by the German race. Elsewhere they said that while democracy means rule by the people, that could only be exercised through the Fuehrer. These are non-standard uses of the terms and do not support the statement that the Nazis were socialist and democratic. It was more a rhetorical device by the Nazis. TFD (talk) 15:48, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Nobody is saying the Nazis were socialist or (especially) democratic. Obviously. But to call them "anti-socialist" without qualification is taking that point too far. As is striking the mention of the rhetorical device. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Director (talkcontribs) 16:04, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Okay let's get back to basics. Dusting off my university textbook from Pols 101: Politics by Andrew Heywood MacMillan Press Ltd 1997, Elements of Socialism, p44-50:
Community: "The core of socialism is the vision of human beings as social creatures linked by the existence of a common humanity. Socialists are inclined to emphasise nurture over nature". Fraternity: Human beings "are bound together by a sense of comradeship or fraternity. This encourages socialists to prefer cooperation over competition." This is opposite to Nazi beliefs which place emphasis on innate factors such as race. They also don't have a solidarity of man approach, seeing races in competition and dubbing some as master races and others as subhuman. Social Equality: "They [socialists] believe that a measure of social equality is the essential guarantee of social stability and cohesion, encouraging individuals to identify with their fellow human beings." This is the universalism and solidarity of nations central to socialist (and Marxist) thought. The belief (rightly or wrongly, probably wrongly) is that class solidarity trumps racial/ethnic ties. This is hardly at the heart of Naziism. In fact the Nazis planned to exterminate some races, i.e. Gypsies, Jews - and enslave others, i.e. Slavs. Need: "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need". Social Class: "Socialists have tended to analyse society in terms of distribution of income and wealth". Once again Nazis focused on race. Common Ownership: "The socialist case for common ownership is that it is a means of harnessing material resources to the common good, with private property being seen to promote selfishness, acquisitiveness and social division." Once again the Nazis were supported by and upheld the interests of the monied classes and the middle classes, so they diverge strongly from socialists here too. P.57: "German National Socialism on the other hand, was constructed largely on the basis of racialism. It's two core theories were Aryanism (the belief that the Germanic people constitute a master race and are destined for world domination), and a virulent form of anti-semitism." (talk) 17:59, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
I'm starting to write an essay here, by Heywood goes on to define the core themes of Naziism and fascism in general as: strength through unity, anti-rationalism, struggle, leadership and elitism, militant nationalism, statism, corporatism, race, anti-semitism, peasant ideology (i.e. an anti-modern philosophy based upon a myth of a German golden age in the past, to be recreated in the future). While it is true that the Nazis subordinated capital to the interests of the state, this took the form of corporatism, not socialism. Here is a section in my source which I believe may explain people's confusion about whether the Nazi's were socialist: "At times both Mussolini and Hitler portrayed their ideas as a form of socialism. To some extent this represented a cynical attempt to elicit support from urban workers. Socialist ideas were therefore prominent in German grass-roots organisations such as the SA, which recruited from the lower middle classes. Fascism attempts to subordinate capitalism to the ideological objectives of the fascist state, a goal most systematically expressed through the doctrine of corporatism. On the other hand, both Italian and German regimes cultivated the support of big business and were even prepared to silence leftist elements within their own ranks, as the Nazis did with the purge of the SA in the Night of the Long Knives. German capitalism also thrived in the 1930s as Germany rearmed in preparation for war." Heywood, Andrew, Political ideologies, pp221-222. (talk) 18:23, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
In any case the paragraph we have been debating is inappropriate for the introduction. It emphasises niche analyses of the Nazi origins which most of us haven't even heard of before. These can be discussed if absolutely necessary, but certainly not in the introduction. The intro goes on to obscure the support of monied groups for the Nazis and implies that the Nazis were some form of socialist party. The Nazis were supported into power by wealthy elites and it is a misrepresentation to infer the opposite as the intro does. Furthermore "National Socialism" and "socialism" were based upon and promoted quite different beliefs. Attempts by the Right to blur the distinction need to be resisted for editorial integrity. A modern example is the term "Liberal" - which to Americans means left-wing/progressive, but outside of the USA is more a right-wing concept, i.e. free markets, minimal state, etc. Similar terms have different meanings in different contexts. You see this in the name of the ruling Liberal Party of Australia for instance, which is a party of the Right. (talk) 18:35, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Where Socialists were longing to the supremacy of the working class above all others, in more or less decidedly ways, the Nazis were longing to the supremacy of the German race above all other nations. It was not about classes but races; their passwords were Blut und Boden, Drang nach Osten, their archenemies Semites (Jews) and Slavs, not industrialist or workers. Everybody had to work hard along the lines of Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer.
All this couldn't be farther away from Socialism; in fact it has nothing, absolute nothing, to do with Socialism.
On the other hand Nazis did have a social, not a socialist, agenda, because when you want to reach the masses you have to give them something. And that was particularly true in the few years before snatching power, and until Strasserism was put definitively down. Oswald Spengler may have influenced Strasser and the first Goebbels, never Nazism which was always the reign of Hitler and his rabid ideology of racial supremacy.
The tactical outburst of socialist looking wording that had occurred, becomes in the current introduction an absurd mismatch and manipulation of historical truth. Carlotm (talk) 19:02, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
There's also an attempt to conflate corporatism with socialism, which is a disingenuous misrepresentation of history. Furthermore, just because you might find some overlaps between socialists and Nazis doesn't mean they're the same thing. I mean the Democrats and the Republicans have 10 times more in common than socialists and Nazis, they're much closer together on the political compass, yet we recognise their difference in worldview. (talk) 19:18, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) This is just based on what I've read on this talk page, but... you say "Furthermore, just because you might find some overlaps between socialists and Nazis doesn't mean they're the same thing.", yet the editor you just responded to said "All this couldn't be farther away from Socialism; in fact it has nothing, absolute nothing, to do with Socialism." I don't see any claim that they're the same thing. Dustin (talk) 19:21, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
I suppose what I mean is both socialists and Nazis used the state to control big business, so in that sense there is an overlap. But the reasons for this, the goals and the ideological motivations are entirely different - so in fact they're not the same thing. I am speaking to all the comments in this thread, not only the last one. The editor named Director is trying argue that the Nazis are socialist. (talk) 19:28, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Aaand here we go with the straw men that want to "argue that Nazis are socialist", or that Nazis were "democratic" and whatnot, even though I explicitly said otherwise just above. The vitriolic aggressive arguing is here.. One word: no. I know my history. And not to get bogged down in esoteric concerns, I'll sum my position up in a couple points:
  • The Nazis were NOT "socialist" or "democratic" - by any means.
  • It is not accurate to state the National Socialists were "anti-Socialist", without qualification. TFD said it in a word, they're anti-Marxian socialist, certainly. Vehemently so. But not anti-"Socialist" as a general term.
  • The Nazis incorporated certain aspects of Socialism into their ideology. "To which degree?" is an issue debated along the left/right political divide.
  • And, whatever their actual ideological position - the NSDAP undoubtedly espoused 'socialistic' rhetoric and pageantry (as the source explains in more detail).
The latter two statements are more accurate the farther back we go. Even your own source (like virtually every other) references socialist ideals in the Nazi ranks. Its not like the SA, with 2,000,000 members, was some kind of marginal branch. This was a powerful left wing. -- Director (talk) 19:42, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
It was not "socialism" in the classic Marxian sense at all; it was a nationalist redefinition of "socialism"; pan-German nationalist, racial based (mainly anti-Semitic) and anti-communism. Germans were to see themselves as a national class working against all others and for the common goals of Nazism which all revolved around Hitler who was both at the top and the center of the wheel per the Führerprinzip. Kierzek (talk) 20:07, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Yes, anyhow, Surely wp lives and dies by the sources , reliable sources, accurately paraphrased and properly used. The sentence at issue is cited to p.296 of a book by Fritz Stern. There is nothing on p.296 of that book that justifies the sentence in the lead. (talk) 20:13, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
I feel that Director is starting to split hairs. I simply disagree with his revisionist version of history. It reminds me of what it's like to debate a climate change denier. You can say that the Nazis weren't anti-socialist, yet all the socialists confined to concentration camps would tend to indicate otherwise. You can also play up similarities to make a point, but it isn't honest. I mean how far do we take this? German Nazis and German Socialists all spoke German, ate bread and potatoes, they all had 1930s-style haircuts, they formed militias - so therefore that makes their ideologies similar? I think not. I realise those are ridiculous analogies, but I use them to make my point clear. There seems to be majority agreement here that the section of the article in question is problematic. I also think inferring that the Nazis were somehow socialist is out of step with mainstream historian POV which sees the Nazis as clearly Far Right and in opposition to all shades of the socialist movement, be they social democrats, socialists or communists. The inferences in the current paragraph are at odds with Wikipedia's fringe theory policies. We need an intro that is more neutral/mainstream POV. It is so problematic that it requires deletion and certainly doesn't belong in the intro section. (talk) 20:37, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

This debate could go on and on in circles forever. I vote to remove said paragraph as proposed by editor:Boston. Do we have majority agreement? (talk) 21:22, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Please see WP:!VOTE before any sort of polling if you haven't already. Also, not to be picky, but it is Boson, not Boston. Dustin (talk) 21:32, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
As in Boson the Elder and the Bosonids? :)
Oppose butchering the article. Even if it does so strikingly offend the IP user's sensibilities. That's a very good paragraph on the background of the topic, its been there for eons.. its fine. If the sentence attributed to Stern is indeed badly sourced, it should naturally be modified to more accurately reflect Stern's position, or removed entirely if it completely deviates from anything Stern states.
The rest is satisfactory, in my view. Far from "revisionism", it presents basic facts that really aren't opposed by anyone, and are in accordance with the scholarly mainstream. In my estimation anyway. Keep. Unless it really is the case that every single proposal to shift this article in that direction must be adopted. -- Director (talk) 21:46, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
Approve: The paragraph in question is out of sync with mainstream perspectives. It contains weasel words/concepts such as right-wing socialism. It has been formulated by someone with a fringe interpretation & agenda. It compromises the integrity of the article and needs to be removed. (talk) 22:18, 16 June 2015 (UTC)
I removed the one sentence. The lede still needs further ce work as does the main "History" section and its subsections; too long and too much commentary. Kierzek (talk) 12:52, 17 June 2015 (UTC)
Hi Kierzek, how does you edit apply to the discussion of this thread? Thanks (talk) 02:13, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
The sentence is misleading and frankly the article needs some re-write anyway; too much commentary. Kierzek (talk) 12:45, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I feel that editor:Director has succeeded in muddying the waters and stalling the clean-up of this article. National Socialism is no more a branch of socialism than Scientology is a branch of science. The fact that both National Socialism and Scientology have co-opted buzz words of their time as a type of marketing strategy shouldn't be used to manipulate people on Wikipedia for ideological purposes. If you're going to link Stalinism with Socialism that is fair enough, but to co-opt an entirely different ideology (National "Socialism") and play some form of guilt-by-association game with it is fine for Fox News but not for content that aspires to be encyclopedic. Editor:Director is attempting to define socialism so broadly that it becomes a meaningless term. Basically any ideology with a social policy and some interaction of economy and government can be defined as a form of socialism by his measure. I cannot think of any ideology of any time in history that can't be defined as socialism by that yard stick. Let's get real: if I wrote a Wikipedia article about the Republican Party and started to define them as a species of socialist party, I wouldn't get very far. In fact I would (quite rightly) be banned as a troll. Republicans-as-socialists certainly wouldn't be a mainstream/neutral POV, yet Nazis are further to the Right from socialists than the Republicans are. The fact that the Nazi Party had some pragmatic policies that can be painted as socialist is like saying that Republicans voting funding for public schools, public libraries, public roads, or whatever, makes them a socialist party. That is ridiculous! It is a misrepresentation. Sources are being cited (probably out of context in many cases) which offer niche interpretations and false inferences out of step with mainstream perspectives on this subject. Frankly I'm aghast that we've had to debate this nonsense for so long! (talk) 01:46, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
The Nazi claim to socialism was even less tenuous. "Social" of course means people. The national socialists represented all the people, unlike the marxian socialists who only represented the working class, hence they were the real socialists. The other parties too represented class interests, not the whole nation. But today most major parties claim to represent the people as a whole, hence all are socialist by that definition. The policies which some editors consider socialist - maintaining universal health care, planning the economy during wartime - have nothing to do with why they called themselves socialist, and have been supported by parties across the political spectrum. TFD (talk) 02:00, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

Intro, scope[edit]

In my opinion the introduction is a bit too detailed and creates more confusion rather than giving a simple introduction to readers with little or no prior knowledge. It is also to a great extent redundant to the article Nazism and its introduction. Most German print encyclopedias only have one article on "Nationalsozialismus", covering the idology of Nazism, the history and organisation of the Nazi Party and the history and organisation of Germany under the Nazi rule. Wikipedia has three articles: Nazism, Nazi Party and Nazi Germany. Redundancies are probably inevitable, but we should try to keep them as little as possible. This article should focus on the history, development and organisation of the Nazi Party, it does not have to echo all the information about the ideology because we have a separate article on Nazism.

Moeller van den Bruck and Spengler may be considered ideological precursors of Nazism, but they did not play any role in the Nazi Party. Mentioning them in the intro to this article gives them undue weight in relation to the subject of the article. Most of the intro deals with the ideology of the Nazi Party while we have the article Nazism to cover these questions. This article (and its intro) should focus on the history and structure of the party. The whole third and most of the second and fourth paragraph of the introduction deal with the ideology of Nazism (about which we have a separate article) rather than actually describing and characterising the party, its development and role. They should therefore be cut as they do not adequately summarise the content of this article. --RJFF (talk) 17:44, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

RJFF, well said and my thoughts exactly. Kierzek (talk) 17:58, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
I would agree that the article could use to focus more on the party, rather than the ideology. However that should not be used as an excuse to scrap content (especially along ideological lines as in the IP users's above proposal): move the perceived excess of coverage to the Nazism article. -- Director (talk) 18:33, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
What is not redundant and on topic can be moved, but frankly I doubt there is much. Both articles are bloated and in need of ce. Kierzek (talk) 18:56, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
Agree with RJFF. It is questionable too whether the party had an ideology, or what role it played. TFD (talk) 14:04, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
RJFF, why don't you take a swing at it. Then we can all look at it accordingly, thereafter. Kierzek (talk) 17:49, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
We should also keep the article NPOV rather than defending the New Right ideological taint to the article that editor:Director is attempting to do. (talk) 01:26, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
How about you sign in before posting two-bit personal evaluations of other users?
I think someone has to say that the "its not an ideology" or "the Nazis had no ideology" view is the definition of FRINGE [1], and that one would have absolutely no problem in drowning any such claim in an avalanche of sources discussing Nazi ideology and Nazism as an ideology... I further think you guys are really getting carried away, agreeing with each other in a sort of hugbox, and are in danger of carrying this article even further out of touch with scholarship. -- Director (talk) 03:36, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Director, I said "It is questionable too whether the party had an ideology...." You replied "think someone has to say that the "its not an ideology" or "the Nazis had no ideology" view is the definition of FRINGE." You provide a Google book search for "nazism ideology." But your hits say that it is questionable whether or not there was a Nazi ideology. Instead of deciding what you think the article should say and looking for sources, read the sources and decide what the article should say. I do not mind when other editors have differences of opinions, but I find it irritating when they misrepresent sources, and waste my time and their's. I would note too that Mein Kampf is not generally considered to be on the same intellectual level as Locke or Marx. TFD (talk) 07:02, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
@"But your hits say that it is questionable whether or not there was a Nazi ideology." Are we looking at the same hits? (And I didn't reply to you directly, but made more of a general statement.) -- Director (talk) 08:35, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
This is all so frustrating. If you go back to my original comment, I've never said that the claims in the paragraph in question cannot be included somewhere in the article, I simply said they don't belong in the introduction. I don't regard that as an unreasonable thing to point out. If included in the article, for the sake of balance the claims in question also have to be qualified by other mainstream sources which don't agree with their inferences, inferences which paint the Nazis as some form of socialism, when it isn't. Undue emphasis is being given to a fringe (New Right) POV, so it needs to be pointed out that this is not the NPOV definition of the origins or nature of Naziism. It is an interesting irony that editor:Director claims I am "posting two-bit evaluations of other users", right after he dismissed me as editing purely for ideological reasons. Far from this being a hugbox, I think too much time and energy has been given to (pointlessly) debating Director's pig-headedness. With the exception of editor:Director there seems to be some consensus about the need to modify the article, so let's just get on with it. I don't see the article on climate change being hamstrung just because of the objections of one rogue climate change denier. (talk) 10:46, 20 June 2015 (UTC)
Director and ip, there is no reason for disingenuous comments. What we need are more constructive ideas to improve the article and consensus here. Unlike the Nazi government (under Hitler), the party did have a pretty clear structure (although positions and functions could overlap or were not always clearly defined). The structure went from the Führer at the top, on down. Nazi ideology was really as much about what it rejected as what it was for. It was based on nationalism, anti-intellectualism, anti-modernism, anti-communism, anti-semitism and racially based in nature. Kierzek (talk) 14:27, 20 June 2015 (UTC)

Lead too long?[edit]

Generally, there should be no more than four paragraphs in the introduction. However, historical significance of one topic can make long intro an exception. Thoughts? --George Ho (talk) 05:49, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

The whole article needs ce work and edits for concision. Kierzek (talk) 12:50, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I worked on the lead. Kierzek (talk) 23:37, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The lead is designed to minimize their connection to socialism. That's the reason it is too long — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:21, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
No, that is not the case. Kierzek (talk) 20:43, 22 October 2015 (UTC)

Far-right definition and economic policy[edit]

There's no doubt that the Nazi Party was an extreme right-wing nationalist group in terms of social policy, but economically, not so much, to the point where analysis like the ones seen on Political Compass and even the WP page on Nazi Germany's economics suggest that, especially because of Hjalmar Schacht, there were aspects of their fiscal policy that were broadly Keynesian.

See: [2]

Should we specify in the "political position" section or remove it altogether? --Sunshineisles2 (talk) 18:23, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

That is a distortion of Nazi economic policy and assumes that right-wing governments would adopt the same policies regardless of circumstances. Whether or not a party was right-wing is something that is supposed to be determined in sources, not through synthesis of editors. TFD (talk) 18:53, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Honestly, I would be suspicious of any categorization, far-right or otherwise -- I've been a silent advocate of removing the "position" parameter altogether, as I feel that politics of any form go beyond the petty and semi-binary categorization of left-right.--Sunshineisles2 (talk) 20:06, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
I would agree to removing the field in the info-box, since it provides more confusion than clarity. Just say that the ideology is Nazism. While they clearly were far right, thee field (which is not part of the original template) becomes confusing when discussing mainstream parties as for example some editors insist that liberal parties are center-left. TFD (talk) 20:17, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
On that last part, that may be because the way the word "liberal" is used varies in some countries, such as the United States. Dustin (talk) 20:27, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Except that outside the U.S., ideology close to U.S. liberalism is normally seen as center. Usually too liberal parties include both what Americans call liberals and conservatives. TFD (talk) 22:20, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
It is so universally known as "far-right" that it maybe even defined it. Remember that Nazi Germany traded extensively with foreign (yes, American too) corporations and even had some of Germany's forced laborers produce for those companies. In fact, he was willing to allow nearly all trade that wasn't with/through Jews or communists. Nazis controlled the European Commission for WW1 Reparations (forgot its name) and Hitler never nationalized but rather employed companies like Volkswagen. I think you're confusing leftist with statist. (talk) 19:50, 20 August 2015 (UTC)


Where is "Anti-communism" in the infobox Ideology? Hitler may have been the most anti-communist person of all time. He was constantly demonizing Marxism and Bolshevism. I see this is apparently treated as normal here, even though he caused the deaths of some 30-40 million East Europeans with his anti-Slavic view. It should be included, just as it is on DAP. Watch any speech video and he will tell you how he will wipe out the "marxismus". (talk) 19:58, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

Anti-communism is not an ideology but is a frequent theme in right-wing ideologies. TFD (talk) 00:46, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
But the whole premise of the NSDAP was that they fought against the German left-wing movements. I don't know, maybe it isn't strictly an ideology. But anti-semitism is? I mean, it's clear that Hitler at least used them as an ideology. "Anti-bolshevism" would be even more appropriate. Bataaf van Oranje (talk) 13:01, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Anti-Semitism is not an ideology either. And of course Nazis fought against the non-Communist Left as well. TFD (talk) 14:43, 24 August 2015 (UTC)