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The Socialist Promises of the Nazis. Michael E. Newton

The Socialist Promises of the Nazis. Michael E. Newton

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"By adapting their agenda to meet the desires of the people and courting unaffiliated groups, the Nazis drew support from various geographic areas and several economic and social classes.[7 93] Their focus on nationalism, a strong military , authoritarian leadership, and “third way ” socialism, with promises of economic prosperity and equality , enabled the Nazis to win over industrialists on the right, peasants on the left, and many in the center, especially World War I veterans. By organizing this coalition of disparate interests, the National Socialists quickly grew from a political non-entity into Germany’s dominant political party ."
"By adapting their agenda to meet the desires of the people and courting unaffiliated groups, the Nazis drew support from various geographic areas and several economic and social classes.[7 93] Their focus on nationalism, a strong military , authoritarian leadership, and “third way ” socialism, with promises of economic prosperity and equality , enabled the Nazis to win over industrialists on the right, peasants on the left, and many in the center, especially World War I veterans. By organizing this coalition of disparate interests, the National Socialists quickly grew from a political non-entity into Germany’s dominant political party ."

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11/08/12The socialist promises of the Nazis | The Path to Tyranny Blog1/5thepathtotyranny.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/the-socialist-promises-of-the-nazis/ 
The Path to Tyranny Blog
Documenting our travels along the path to tyranny
The socialist promises of the Nazis
Posted on January 10, 2011 | 5 Comments
 A “friend” of mine just wrote “Hitler’s Mein Kampf is a conservative favorite” in a comment to afacebook post of mine. As a conservative and a Jew, I am upset and angered by this comment.Furthermore, as somebody who has studied conservatism and Nazism, I am perplexed by people’signorance and/or stupidity.In a first, I am going to post an entire section from my book,
The Path to Tyranny: A History of Free Society’s Descent into Tyranny
. (The bracketed numbers are the citations which are not included here.)Of course, it helps to read the previous sections showing how Germany got to where it was in the late1920s and also the previous chapters which explain some of the terminology, including what is meant by 
socialism
and
 fascism
.
Nazi Promises
Throughout the 1920s, the Nazis were a non-entity in German politics. In the May 1928 federal election,the National Socialist German Workers Party received just 2.6 percent of the vote.[766] Within four years, the Nazis would become Germany’s largest political party. After another year, Adolf Hitler would become dictator of Germany and all other political parties would be banned. This remarkable rise topower came about through the skilled use of populist rhetoric, including promises of wealth, equality,and national rebirth. The German people, disillusioned with the failures of the center-left coalitions of the 1920s, were swayed by this new party that promised the benefits of both left-wing socialism andright-wing authoritarianism and nationalism. As the name implies, the National Socialist German Workers Party was founded primarily to promotesocialism in Germany. National Socialism originally stood for partial collectivism aimed primarily atlarge industrial corporations, leading financial institutions, and wealthy landowners, as detailed in theparty’s Twenty-Five Points of 1920.[767] The Twenty-Five Points included the following socialistdemands:[768]“Every citizen shall have the possibility of living decently and earning a livelihood.”“All unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.”“Total confiscation of all war profits.”“Nationalization of all trusts.”“Profit-sharing in large industries.”“Increase in old-age pensions.”
 
11/08/12The socialist promises of the Nazis | The Path to Tyranny Blog2/5thepathtotyranny.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/the-socialist-promises-of-the-nazis/ 
“Communalization of large stores which will be rented cheaply to small tradespeople.”“A law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the commonpurpose.”“The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.”“Usurers, profiteers, etc., are to be punished with death, regardless of creed or race.”“The State must assume the responsibility of organizing thoroughly the entire cultural system of the people.”“Specially talented children of poor parents, whatever their station or occupation, be educated atthe expense of the State.”“COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD.”Many today believe that the Nazis were capitalists, despite the evidence of Nazism’s socialist roots andagenda. Jacques Ellul, a leader of the French Resistance in World War II, philosopher, and law professor, writes, “The dogmatic and elementary interpretation of Nazism as having been conceived by capitalists to counter communism, and a bourgeois tool in the class struggle, has gained incredibly  broad acceptance as a self-evident fact, despite its contradiction of fact. Even after his alliance withcertain capitalists, Hitler controlled them as much as they did him.”[769] In 1927, Hitler said, “We aresocialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of theeconomically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy thissystem under all conditions.”[770]The Nazis failed to draw left-wing support away from the Social Democratic Party and the CommunistParty, so they toned down their socialist economic propaganda beginning in 1927, though they continued to believe in government control of the economy.[771] The Nazis adopted the “third way”style of the Italian Fascists by supporting partial socialism with some government ownership of  business and heavy regulation of large businesses, but limited regulation of small businesses andindividuals.[772] In 1931, Hitler said, “I want everyone to keep the property he has acquired forhimself according to the principle: common good takes precedence over self-interest. But the statemust retain control and each property owner should consider himself an agent of the state… The ThirdReich will always retain its right to control the owners of property.”[773] Hitler claimed that property could be privately owned but, in reality, the individual would not retain control over it. By controlling“the owners of property,” the state obviously controls the property as well. As Stanley Payne, theeminent authority on fascism writes, Hitler “boasted that there was no need to nationalize the economy since he had nationalized the entire population.”[774] As late as 1941, Hitler declared, “basically National Socialism and Marxism are the same.”[775]Though Hitler and the Nazis remained committed to socialism throughout, in theory and in practice,their new toned-down “third way” socialism found support among the middle class,[776] who fearedthe radical left but were still enchanted by the utopian promises of socialism. The new Nazi economicplatform also found support among the land-owning farmers. Whereas the Twenty-Five Points vowed totake land away from its owners without compensation “for the common purpose,”[777] by 1930 theNazis had dropped that proposal[778] and were offering aid to the land owning peasant farmers andpraising the peasants as the defenders of German morality and tradition.[779] The Nazis also promisedhigh prices and ready markets for the farmer’s agricultural products and extolled the virtues of “blood
 
11/08/12The socialist promises of the Nazis | The Path to Tyranny Blog3/5thepathtotyranny.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/the-socialist-promises-of-the-nazis/ 
and soil” and the “agricultural estate.”[780]Considering the working class was already aligned with the Marxist parties, Hitler and the Nazis focusedtheir campaign on the middle class, who were also suffering under the weak economy.[781] The new strategy resulted in gains in state elections and increased campaign donations.[782] The Nazis alsosought the support of the industrialists, a natural ally when they started presenting themselves as thealternative to the communists and other radical left-wing socialists. Many industrialists were wary of the new, unstable, violent, and radical Nazis, yet some industrialists still gave the Nazis much neededfinancial support in the 1920s, though they also supported the much larger and less radicalconservative German National People’s Party.[783] As the Nazis attracted larger shares of the vote inelections and especially after Hitler became Chancellor, the industrialists gave much more money tothe Nazis,[784] partly to help the Nazis defeat the communists, but also to win their favor after theirinevitable political victory.The Nazi agenda went well beyond promises of economic prosperity. The Nazis also promoted Germannationalism and Aryan superiority, which helped lift the spirits of many native Germans after thehumiliating defeat in World War I, the disastrous hyperinflation of the early 1920s, and the economicdepression that began in 1929. Point four of the Twenty-Five Points detailed the Nazis’ Germanexclusivity: “Only those who are our fellow countrymen can become citizens. Only those who haveGerman blood, regardless of creed, can be our countrymen. Hence no Jew can be a countryman.”[785] Although this anti-Semitism became a centerpiece of the Nazi agenda once in power, it was notinstrumental in the Nazis’ rise to power because they toned down their anti-Semitic propaganda duringtheir election campaigns.[786] Thus, the rising fortune of the Nazis had little to do with any anti-Semiticrhetoric, though everybody voting for the Nazis understood their hatred of the Jews, given that it waspart of the Twenty-Five Points and was a centerpiece of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Nevertheless, by promoting Aryan superiority and blaming the Jews, capitalists, republicans, and other liberals forGermany’s problems, German nationalism became the centerpiece of the Nazi agenda and enabled theNazis to attract members from all economic and social classes.[787]Like their fascist cousins in Italy, the Nazis also took a pro-military position. After World War I, the Weimar republic did not support the military, even refusing to build a monument to the war dead orissue a commemorative medal.[788] Of course, this upset many veterans and families of the war dead,and the Nazis pursued these disaffected Germans by favoring a strong military, reoccupation of territory lost in the war, and expansion of Germany to include all German-speaking people. The Nazisclaimed “National Socialism means peace,” arguing that only a strong Germany can defend against aninvasion by France or the Soviet Union.[789] Like the Fascists in Italy, the Nazis were always seen intheir military uniform. When Hitler met Mussolini for the first time in 1934, Hitler wore civilian clothingat the insistence of his advisors, whereas Mussolini was dressed in his military uniform. Hitler appeared weak next to Mussolini and he vowed never to make that mistake again. From then on, Hitler was alwaysin uniform when making public appearances.[790]The Nazis managed to exceed the Italian Fascists in their development of a myth culture, with theirever-present swastika and promotion of the old German folk traditions and rituals. The Nazis alsoexalted Hitler, well beyond what the Italians did with Mussolini. Many Nazis saw Hitler as a Christ or aMessiah[791] who will save Germany from Jews, foreigners, capitalists, and communists. For example,

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