Talk:Nazism and socialism/Archive 3

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National Labour Law of January 20, 1934

[1] "National Labour Law of January 20, 1934, the state would exert direct influence and control over all business employing more than twenty persons. In other words, both employers and employees were put under the control of the government." Large public works projects, 100% employment, these sorts of things are socialist Sam Spade 04:41, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Public works projects are socialist? Under what definition? And 100% employment was a result of the rearmament efforts. john 04:42, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
That sort of controlled economy is socialist in my eyes, as is fuedalism and mercantilism and any sort of economic controls. as I keep sayings it s the definition of socialism we are debating here, and nothing other. BTW we arn't supposed to be debating ;) Sam Spade 04:44, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Sam, but it doesn't contradict anything in the paragraph you cite. You claimed that the assertion about the Nazis and nationalisation was wrong but you've failed to show any inaccuracies in the paragraph. "This is not about Italy, BTW andy." So you're admitting that Italy wasn't socialist under Mussolini? Well, that's progress. No, it's not about Italy but it is about a form of fascism. Formeruser-83

As for public works, by your argument Eisenhower would be a socialist for approving the building of a national highway system in the USFormeruser-83 04:45, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

yep, I would, but I'd go after FDR first ;) Sam Spade 04:46, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

If you want to say anything that's not laissez faire capitalism is socialism, the term is utterly meaningless - every governmental system that's ever existed is socialist by those standards. Should we also have an article The U.S. Republican Party and Socialism? Or The Roman Empire and Socialism? Or Charlemagne and Socialism? john 04:48, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

"That sort of controlled economy is socialist in my eyes, as is fuedalism and mercantilism" Now you're just being anachronistic. Obviously this has more to do about your ideological blinkers than about NPOV or historical fact. Next you're going to say Bismark was a socialist. Formeruser-83 04:49, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

You're confusing socialism and statism. Socialism is about workers control, not state control.Formeruser-83 04:50, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I guess NASA is socialist too. As is Ronald Reagan for his military expenditures and "directing industry" to research SDI Formeruser-83 04:52, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

"Socialism is about workers control" is the biggest lie I can recall hearing in awhile. Maybe in propaganda, but try organizing a union in china Sam Spade 04:55, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
That's because worker control is expressed through means of their only true representative, the Communist Party of China. But the point is that the ideology of communism is about worker control. There was no interest in worker control in the ideology of Nazism. That communism failed to live up to its ideology does not mean that the Nazis were communists. john 05:03, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

were off topic. National Labour Law of January 20, 1934 Sam Spade 04:55, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

China's not socialist. If it were it wouldn't be in the WTO or have MFN from CongressFormeruser-83 04:57, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Well, the Soviet Union banned independent labor unions, too. john 05:03, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The Soviet Union was a communist state. Surely you are not trying to argue that it was "socialist" in a context in which one is attempting to delineate the difference - such as in an *international* encyclopedia. Sunray 17:00, 2004 Mar 30 (UTC)

Sam, you've failed to justify any of your edits. The one edit you did try to justify here blew up in your face according to your own evidence. Stop playing around unless your proposals can withstand scrutiny in TALK Formeruser-83 04:59, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I don't think anyone would dispute that the Nazi regime took a great deal of control over private industry. It should be noted that it did this considerably less than the British, say, during World War II - the Nazis hardly mobilized for war until 1942. Winston Churchill and socialism. Frederick Barbarossa and socialism. Richard III and socialism. Cardinal Richelieu and socialism. The Iroquois Confederacy and socialism. Elizabeth I and socialism. The German National People's Party and socialism. If state involvement in the economy is all that is required to produce socialism, we should have articles on every possible historical subject and socialism. john 05:03, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

This article

This article is not about what I think, it's about what you guys think. The nazis themselves called themselves socialists, they fit into many standard definitions of socialism (which tend of course to be very broad, and to vary substantially) and the standard wiki policy is to call people what they call themselves. The article should prob have been deleted anyhow, or merged into socialism, but whatever. This is where we are. All I expect is for the article to be accurate and NPOV, presenting both sides fairly. That is prob done best by providing alternating talking points, as it was before the rewrite, but if you are so very confident you can make a standard article out of a contentious debate like this, so be it. It'll prob get deleted sooner or later tho, just to warn ya. Its been on VfD more than once already. Sam Spade 09:21, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Talking points do not an encyclopedia make. Again, I welcome any contributions you can make to the question of relationships between Nazism and socialism, and adding any material on it. However, the article as it is at present a) acknowledges that the Nazis called themselves socialist, both in their name, and occasionally in actual rhetoric; b) acknowledges that many elements of the original Nazi program were seemingly socialist; c) acknowledges that one wing of the pre-1933 Nazi party had some socialist tendencies; d) acknowledges that German conservatives, when not too busy cuddling up to the Nazis, would sometimes accuse the Nazis of being socialists; e) that the Nazi regime has sometimes been called socialist by post-1945 scholars. If you want further points, feel free to add them, but it isn't POV for there to be more material in favor of one side than the other. That could simply mean that there is simply more support for one side of the argument than the other, and it's certainly not NPOV to remove accurate, relevant information. john 09:28, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I don't disagree w any of that. Sam Spade 09:32, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

"The nazis themselves called themselves socialists, " Yes and that point is in the article but self-identification is not conclusive. If it were then we would have to conclude that East Germany was democratic, Zhirinovsky's a liberal democrat and China belongs to the people. (ie the factual statement about misnomers that you removed from the article some time ago). If you're truly interested in NPOV then balance requires that a simplistic assertion like "well, the Nazis called themselves socialist therefore they were" be balanced out with the fact that many people call themselves things that they aren't.

As for what you think not being important, Sam, you think everything and everyone is socialist and your view of socialism is completely at odds with socialist thinkers like Marx (ie you conflate the state with socialism and view anything the state does as socialist therefore any society in which the state has any control is ipso facto socialist - an extreme view based on a flawed and anti-historical, anti-theoretical assumption - the Romans must be socialist because they built roads, Ronald Reagan must be a socialist because he expanded government in the area of the military) The most basic concept of socialism,however, holds that it's about who, which class, controls the economy not about what the state does. You concede that the Nazis were "good for business" and that there are definite links between the capitalist class and the Nazis, so was the Nazi state in the service of the capitalist class or the working class? If the latter then it was socialist, if the former than it wasn't regardless of what the state did and didn't do. Most socialists disagree that Stalinism was socialist but they concede that the Stalinist state was a "degenerated workers state", the Nazi state, however, was in no way a workers state degenerated or otherwise.

Perhaps your views require a discussion of what socialism is and isn't but that would really take the article in a different direction and make it more about socialism than about the Nazis.Formeruser-83 11:32, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

"it's certainly not NPOV to remove accurate, relevant information. " "I don't disagree w any of that"

Well Sam, you tried to remove: "Occasional use of socialist rhetoric did not alienate these supporters who recognised this as empty rhetoric designed to appeal to the masses for whom socialism was a popular concept rather than a sincere expression of intent by Hitler." But that is factual. The fact is a) the Nazis made Mayday a holiday but b) this didn't cause their supporters in the aristocarcy and industrialist class to abanddon them. These people did view the Nazis "socialist" statements as lipservice and empty rhetoric. Now you may feel that it wasn't empty rhetoric but clearly, by their actions, the von Ribbentropps and Krupps did think it was otherwise they would not have remained Nazis.

You tried to substantially change: "Once in power, the Nazis jettisoned practically all of the more socialistic aspects of their program, and in general showed themselves quite prepared to work with big business, frequently at the expense of both small business and the working classes. Gregor Strasser was murdered as was Ernst Röhm while Otto Strasser was purged from the party. Industries and trusts were not nationalised, indeed, military production and even film production remained in the hands of private industries and many private companies flourished during the Nazi period while independent trade unions were outlawed as were strikes. The only private holdings that were expropriated were those belonging to Jews and these were not retained by the state but sold to private capitalists. " But everything in that statement is true. You have been unable to find any examples of the Nazis nationalising anything. It's also factually true that they jetissoned the more "socialistic aspects of their program" once they came to power. That is a fact no historican would disagree with.

You removed: "This, however, can be seen not as the implementation of socialist measures but a mark of the move to a war economy and similar measures occured in the western democracies once war began. "

But that is also true if you examine the features of the US and British war economies during WWII or, indeed, what Eisenhower termed the "military industrial complex" in the modern US. I suggest you read up on the topic of "war economy".

You removed: "The Nazis took symbolic steps to co-opt the working classes' former support for the old socialist parties by such moves as the introduction of May Day as a national holiday in 1933. While this is seen as significant by those who argue that the Nazis were socialists it can be argued that this was a superficial move designed to win the allegiance of workers rather than grant them any material concessions at the expense of capital. "

Well, this is also true. Do you disagree that granting a national holiday is a superficial move, especially if at the same time you drastically curtain the rights of workers and enhance the rights of capitlalists? You point out that Stalin banned strikes too, well that's true but industry was not in private hands in the USSR, it was in Germany and banning strikes helped capital and capitalists. What material concessions did Nazi Germany make to the workers at the expense of capital, Sam? Can you show us any? If not then you have no business removing that sentence as its factual and accurate.

"but arguing that both Nazism (as an extension of anti-semitism and racialism)" Are you seriously saying that Nazism was not anti-Semitic and racist? Sorry Sam, it's a fact and you have no business removing it.

"meaning the intellectual orgins of Nazism are in right wing nationalist and racist thought, not in the socialist tradition. " Again, if you look at the proceeding paragraph that statement is proven. What was socialist in the intellectual origins of Nazism Sam? Certainly not the Thule society, the cult of the swastika, Wagner, Nietzche or Houston Stewart Chamberlain. What socialist intellectuals did the Nazis embrace? Not Marx, Lasalle, Kautsky etc. Can you point out one socialist the Nazis looked to in history?

Then you removed Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Why did you do this? Hitler and the Nazis republished the works of Chamberlain and based a lot of their racial theory on him. Listing him as an intellectual inspiration to Nazism is factual. Why did you remove this?

"The hierarchical nature of the anti-modern corporatism espoused by Nazism and other forms of fascism is directly in contast to the egalitarianism espoused by most forms of socialism." You removed this yet this is factual.

Sorry Sam but I dont' see how any of your cuts are justifiable. Everything you tried to remove is based on fact. I know, Reagan said "facts are stupid things" but if we start working on that basis where will it lead? :) Formeruser-83 11:56, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Can we try logic?

I think I'm seeing some sweeping statements like:

  1. Communists are leftists.
  2. All socialists are leftists.
  3. Nazis opposed Communism.

Combining these premises in various ways, you can conclude that:

  • Nazis are not leftists; therefore,
  • Nazis are not socialists.

Is this the primary basis of some contributors' refusal to consider Nazism as being a form of socialism? "They can't be socialists, because they're not leftists!" --Uncle Ed 13:45, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

No it's not. You're not reading very deeply (or at all) since that's not the argument. The argument is that the central thesis of socialism is that the economy and society should be in the control of the working class and that the commanding heights of the economy should be expropriated from the capitalist class. Neither of these things were the case in Nazi Germany, indeed, as Sam concedes, capitalism flourished under Hitler. Therefore if capitalism was not curtailed but indeed profits rose and the power of capital increased the state could not be socialist. If Nazi Germany served the interests of the capitalist class and had the support of the capitalist class then Nazi Germany could not have been socialist but was clearly a capitalist state.

The argument you and Sam put forward seems to be a) The Nazis used the term socialist and used some socialist rhetoric b) both the USSR under Stalin and Nazi Germany were police states therefore c) the Nazis were socialist.

As has been shown and not refuted by you or sam, that logic is flawed. People are not always what they say they are, sometimes they pretend to be something else for reasons of expedience and just because there are similarities between the Stalinist USSR and Nazi Germany doesn't mean those similarities are features of socialism. There have been a lot of police states in the past 150 years and quite a number of them (most of the countries of Latin America in the 1970s, Taiwan under Chaing Kai-shek, South Korea under Park, Japan under militarism etc) have been capitalist. Indeed, many of them have been explicitly anti-socialist and set up to suppress the left and protect and promote capitalism. Before you say, well you can't have a capitalist police state consider Chile under Pinochet which became a lab for Milton Friedman and the Chicago School and was seen as a model to be emulated by Margaret Thatcher. Just reread all the defences of Pinochet that appeared in Conrad Black's papers when he was arrested a few years ago if you don't believe me.

Additionally, there seems to be a confusion between statism and socialism. Do you or Sam understand that there is a difference between the two terms? I don't think so. The assumption seems to be that anything the state does is socialist and that any regime that has a degree of state control is a socialist state - the more power the state has, the more socialist it is. This is a basic mistake in logic. Just because some socialist states are statist doesn't mean that all regimes that are statist are socialist. Is that too hard for you to grasp or do you want to argue that Louis XIV was a socialist as well? It's not a question of how much control the state has, it's a matter of who controls the state and who owns the productive forces of the economy. If the state is controlled by capitalists and capitalists own and profit from the means of production then the state is a capitalist state no matter how centralised it is. Conversely, if the workers control the means of production and operate the state then the state is socialist no matter how decentralised and nebulous it is (indeed, Marxists believe that ultimately under socialism the state "withers away").

I think you should actually read some source material on what socialism is (by socialists, not just by right wingers) because you two seem to have no conception of what socialist actually advocates.

Reminder to Sam: "These club members would show by example how to contribute in a harmonious, useful fashion. These members would bind THEMSELVES to the rule of "you can only revert once". They would often propose options on the talk page BEFORE making edits to the article. They might even wait an hour or a day for assent from others before making changes. They will also be eager to request community involvement and/or peer review, wherever necessary."

-- Sam Spade, as you're interested in neutrality and balance perhaps you can find the little fact you found regarding fascist Italy not nationalising anything to the fascism article? :)

Superficial reading

Dear "130",

You are right. I didn't read very deeply. In fact, I've only managed to wade about halfway through the 11,000 words!

You're also right that I am confusing "socialism" with "statism". I have thus come around to the position that the Nazis weren't really "socialist" in a pure sense. By failing to exalt the working class over the Capitalist class, they distinguished themselves from all Marxist variants of socialism.

We'll need more information (elsewhere) about what form their particular brand of statism took. Certainly fascism involves the regimentation of all aspects of society and the forcible suppression of opposition.

Perhaps the economy of Nazi Germany is more akin to democratic socialism (or social democracy?) although I hardly think Hitler's police state could be considered a democracy. Maybe it doesn't fit into any category other than fascism. --Uncle Ed 18:51, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Hi Ed, well while Swedish socialism did have corporatist elements to it (ie national committees where industry owners and labour would meet to try to come to collective bargaining agreements) the similarity is superficial. First of all workers had the right to strike in Sweden. Secondly, Sweden set up a comprehensive welfare state so it can be argued that there was an attempt to redistribute income to a degree from capital to the workers and also that there were concessions to the workers in the form of comprehensive social programs. Nazi Germany inherited things like old age pensions that were introduced by Bismark but there were no attempts to set up a welfare state. Rather, corporatism in Germany and Italy was used to coopt labour and keep workers down rather than a means to have them express their demands. Nazi Germany did not set up a comprehensive universal public health care system like Britain or Canada did, didn't establish unemployment insurance, didn't bring in free university education, free childcare etc or redistribute wealth from capitalists to the workers so there's really nothing there you could call social democratic. Formeruser-83 20:41, 29 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Then it's hard to see why anybody would consider "National Socialism" to have anything in common with socialism other than the name. I did a bit of research on the views of James Gregor, who sees similarities between fascism and Marxism.
Um, if Nazism is a form of fascism, and Marxism is a form of socialism, is that the connection? --Uncle Ed 13:30, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)
It is really not useful to keep stating that Marxism is a form of socialism. It is, but only in the broadest use of the term "socialism." It would be more accurate (in an encyclopedia where we are tryiing to distinguish between these various terms) to say that Marxism is a form of communism (FULL STOP). If we don't pin down these terms, we will keep going around in circles. Sunray 17:23, 2004 Mar 30 (UTC)

Well, Italian Fascism certainly has connections to Marxism - Mussolini started out as a Marxist. But it's not a form of Marxism, I don't think. And Gregor (whose ideas sound rather fringe, to be honest, from the description in the Wikipedia article on him) is specifically concerned to separate Italian Fascism from Nazism - so that Fascism becomes a leftist movement, while Nazism remains a rightist one. But, yeah, I think the basic connection that people make is Marxian Socialism via Mussolini to Fascism to Nazism. Along with the fact that their name was "National Socialist". As to the topic of this article, I think there are enough valid points to be made to constitute an article. People like the Strassers genuinely did have some socialist tendencies. The Nazi party platform does contain some socialistic ideas. The Nazis' rivals did sometimes accuse them of being socialists, and the Nazis themselves sometimes said they were socialists (of a sort - they were always very careful to distinguish themselves from the "Marxist" SPD and KPD), and various modern theorists and polemicists have tried to connect Nazism to socialism. john 15:14, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The article misses the point that the Nazi attitude towards socialism was tactical and changed over time. I would like to see a number of things added: for example, a mention of the Nazi trade union movement (the NSBO), and the Nazi Communist cooperation in the 1932 Berlin tramworkers strike - during which there was that marvelous photograph taken of Goebbels and Ulbricht on the same platform. One should mention of the brownshirt groups that were called "Beefsteak battalions" - brown on the outside, red on the inside. The article should mention of Gottfried Feder, whose ideas about interest were very similar to those of the Socialist Silvio Gsell. The point should be made that a number of conservatives who joined the Nazi party (Hermann Rauschning, Emil Kirdorf), quit because they found it too socialist. The article should mention the large industrial enterprises that the Nazi government established (the Hermann Goering Werke in Salzgitter and Linz, the Volkwagen Works). The article should point out that although the Nazi government privatized some government holdings acquired during the economic crisis (notably the government holdings of bank shares), we can identify a policy shift with the dismissal of Schacht in 1938. It is then that the nationalizations of many remaining private railroads occurs. During the war, there is a massive increase in the SS industrial enterprises. By the end of the war, Trevor-Roper says that Goebbels' speeches were very socialist in tone - and this was the "authentic voice of Nazism." I am also not clear about Andy's points about unemployment insurance and health care - Germany had had health insurance since 1882, unemployment insurance since 1927. --Jmkleeberg 15:38, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

There should also be a passage included about corporate tax. Seebold, in his history of the Bochumer Verein, says that the tax paid by the Verein doubled in the first year of WWII because the Nazi government tried to tax away war profits. The sentence that says that the Nazis did nothing about the profits made by Krupp, etc., is invalid without further qualification. --Jmkleeberg 15:48, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

"Then it's hard to see why anybody would consider "National Socialism" to have anything in common with socialism other than the name. I did a bit of research on the views of James Gregor, who sees similarities between fascism and Marxism.
Um, if Nazism is a form of fascism, and Marxism is a form of socialism, is that the connection? --Uncle Ed 13:30, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)"

James Gregor is a polemicist. Again, fascism rejected the same central tenets of Marxism that Nazism did - class struggle, expropriation of the commanding heights of the economy by the working class etc. 16:09, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The article's observations about working class immunity to the Nazis does not reflect the latest thinking in the field. See Conan Fischer, The Rise of National Socialism and the Working Classes in Weimar Germany (1996) - there's a good book review on H-Net by Shelley Baranowski. If you google conan fischer plus baranowski you'll find it. --Jmkleeberg 16:16, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Mr. Kleeberg, why don't you work on the article? It sounds as if you have a lot of knowledge that would do a great deal to improve the article. As to "working class immunity to the Nazis," I was not trying to suggest that - it is certainly the case that most Socialist voters continued to vote for either the SPD or the KPD until the end of the republic, but there were certainly many members of the working class (and particularly those who worked in small industries, as opposed to in big unionized factories) who voted Nazi. And certainly the working classes acquiesced to the actual Nazi rule just as much as anybody else. At any rate, edit away - you clearly know a lot about the subject. I agree that the Berlin transit workers' strike, in particular, deserves mention. john 16:20, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

"I am also not clear about Andy's points about unemployment insurance and health care - Germany had had health insurance since 1882, unemployment insurance since 1927." I think the point is that the Nazis did nothing to extend the welfare state. Germany had health insurance but it was not "comprehensive universal public health care" which is what Andy actually said and the Nazis did not extend the existing system or turn it into a "comprehensive universal public health care system like Britain or Canada". Much of what you say has to do with a war economy rather then socialism ie centralisation and control towards remiliterisation and fighting a war rather than in order to redistribute wealth, facilitate a social transfer to the working class or give workers power over the economy (ie socialist aims). As for unemployment insurance the Nazis undermined the existing system by treating the unemployed as shirkers or traitors and conscripting them to work in labour batallions and work camps (the National Labour Service) - people who refused jobs offered by the labour service were arrested and put into concentration camps - hardly what we think of when we use the term "unemployment insurance" or a welfare state. 16:07, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Well the failure of the Nazis to nationalise the banks should be mentioned and a distinction should be made about rhetoric and posturing prior to the Nazi seizure of power and actual actions afterwards, particularly more attention is needed to the significance of the Night of the Long Knives in purging the socialistic elements Jmkleeberg mentions and neutralising the SA. Goebbels incidentally, had been a supporter of the Strassers and switched sides.

As for the the Trevor-Roper comment it's hardly definitive and probably reflects his biases more than anything else. 16:41, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Did Nazism ever have socialist elements?

"After World War I a number of extremist political groups arose in Germany, including the minuscule German Workers? party, whose spokesman was Gottfried Feder. Its program combined socialist economic ideas with rabid nationalism and opposition to democracy. The party early attracted a few disoriented war veterans, including Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess, and Hitler. After 1920 Hitler led the party; its name was changed, and he reorganized and reoriented it, stamping it with his own personality." --Columbia Encyclopedia [2]

Ed, this has been covered before on this talk page (now in archives). I'm not sure what you are getting at. Hitler did take over a socialist party. He then re-oriented it as the Nazi party. The transition was complete by the early thirties. There are many cases worldwide of a party being taken over and re-oriented but retaining its former name. My own personal favourite is the BC Liberal Party, "... one of the most right wing in Canada." No one in their right mind would say that this party is liberal, yet they retain the name. Sunray 19:57, 2004 Mar 30 (UTC)

I don't know that that Drexler's German Workers' Party can be considered a genuinely socialist party, although it did certainly have "socialist economic ideas". It was essentially an anti-capitalist middle class anti-semitic party. Those socialist/anti-capitalist ideas remained into the National Socialist Party platform (composed 1921), but were, almost to a one, not implemented at all when the Nazis came to power. But, at any rate, the Nazis' anti-capitalism was an anti-capitalism of the right, not of the left, and emerged out of the anti-semitic völkisch ideas of the late 19th century, rather than out of socialist thought (Hitler never even seems to have actually read Marx - rather, he seem to have mostly read right wing anti-marxist polemic). john 03:10, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I believe the lacking awareness of, or understanding of the background to, anti-capitalism might be a key to why many people, maybe particularly outside of Europe, tend to mislable many early 20th-century political positions. --Ruhrjung 09:02, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

BTW, I don't think Mr. Kleeberg is correct to say that Rauschning quit the Nazis because he thought they were socialists. He realized they were not conservatives and became disillusioned with them in various ways, but I've never read before that he thought they were socialists. john 03:14, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Marx and democracy

From article:

Since the fall of the Nazi regime, many theorists have argued that there are similarities between the government of Nazi Germany and that of Stalin's Soviet Union. In most cases, this has not taken the form of arguing that the Nazis were socialist, but arguing that both Nazism (as an extension of anti-semitism and racialism) and Stalinism (as an extension of Marxist socialism) are forms of totalitarianism. This view was advanced most famously by Hannah Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism. However, many socialists and Marxists dispute that Stalin was in fact a true socialist and assert that Marx argued for a democratic socialist system.

I deleted the marked sentence from the above paragraph, because "democratic socialism" implies that Marx would have opposed Soviet Communism. Yet the USSR exalted Marx, so there's a contradiction there. Which is right?

However, many socialists dispute that Stalin's system was truly socialist. Which I now reinsert. --Ruhrjung 09:02, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Moreover, the whole issue is getting confused. This article is not about Nazism and Communism. That's a whole nuther kettle of fish. --Uncle Ed 19:22, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Well, I think that statement is basically irrelevant to the argument at hand, so I don't oppose removing it. On the other hand, I don't see that there's a contradiction between communist regimes saying they're marxist, and other people who say they're marxists saying the Soviet Union sucks. But the sentence itself is basically POV. john 20:01, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps the paragraph was about the mental link between nazism and socialism, as stemming from a perception that nazism is fascist (i.e., totalitarian) and that Communism (which is a manifestation of socialism) is also totalitarian. Have you been following the evolution of the fascism and Communism article? --Uncle Ed 22:10, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The sentence Ed removed was meant to balance out "Stalinism (as an extension of Marxist socialism)" since the only Marxists who see Stalinism as an extension of Marxism is, well, Stalinists. Democratic Marxists and Trotskyists as well as a lot of non-Marxists who have read, say, the 1844 Manuscripts would disagree.

That Stalinists see themselves as being faithful to Marx doesn't mean they were or that other Marxists (or Marx himself) would agree. For a rough analogy that I hope won't offend anyone, Mormons may argue that their religion and the "Book of Mormon" is an "extension of Christianity". Most Christians would disagree and would argue that Mormonism is a heresy. It may be related to Christianity but it is not "Christian" (many would assert) nor an "extenstion of Christianity".

Rather than put the phrase Ed took out back in I've removed "(as an extension of Marxist socialism)" since a) it's a contesable POV and b) isn't necessary for the rest of the sentence to make sense and actually is something of a digression. Mycroft2004 22:43, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Just to note that the statement was supposed to be POV, in that it was describing Arendt's view. Perhaps I should have said "development out of" instead of "extension of", since Stalinism surely developed out of Marxism, even if it was not an "extension" of it. But I agree that this is probably unnecessary detail for this article. john 04:43, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)