View Poll Results: Were the Nazis...

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  • Predominantly Right Wing

    123 50.20%
  • Predominantly Left Wing

    75 30.61%
  • Largely in the center

    18 7.35%
  • Don't know/unsure/no opinion/none of the above

    29 11.84%
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Thread: Were the Nazis Right or Left Wing?

  1. #41
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    Re: Were the Nazis Right or Left Wing?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Can you document this? As far as I can tell, it is basically government intervention into the economy to achieve certain social goals with both the goals and intervention being aspects of the ideology itself.
    You know economists, with each dissertation a new variant is detailed. State-socialism, syndicalism (unions), so-called libertarian marxism, etcetc.


    A more egalitarian society is an aspect of socialism, not its end goal separated from the process.
    Not in the real world it isn't. But that is what it seeks to achieve--the maintenance of an equitqble economic system in which people are paid a sum equal to the value of their labor investment. If you disagree, then what exactly do you think socialism hopes to achieve?

    You are implying it by naming intervention as socialist and opposing it to capitalism as if was necessarily one or the other.
    You got the wrong implication, my fault. I really just wanted to know if you thought they valued free-enterprise over state intervention-- I didn't mention socialism in the question. They used many types of intervention, some of which I mentioned above, including socialist policies.

    However, the latter half of your statement is somewhat correct. In fact, fascists are willing to use what they can to advance their productive goals, which is fundamentally opposed to socialism which has a moral aspect to it (the egalitarianism you mentioned).
    So, you don't think it's impossible for a government to use socialist policies to enrich an elite minority at the expense of a destitute population? Look at Zimbabwe.

    Without that morality, you cannot call them socialist and be accurate. And even if you want to argue it, because they used whatever they could, economic intervention, capitalism (they did promote corportations did they not), slave labor whatever, you can attach any phrase to them and be just as accurate, rendering the distinction meaningless.
    1) Socialist policies can be implemented without the fulfillment of the "moral obligation" to reimburse the people for their labor equitably. First and foremost because large scale socialism never does so, and as I mentioned before, the nazi's did attach moral qualification to the people's well-being but they did so via the well-being of the state. The difference is simply one of method of redistribution, in effect. That doesn't alter the substance, or necessarily the intent, of the policies--and certainly not the application.

    2) If you are defining capitalism as the promotion of corporations by the nazi government, then your idea of capitalism has very little to do with "free-enterprise."

    3) So you are saying the distinction is meaningless because they used certain other means as well? No, I don't think its meaningless. As has been mentioned earlier, the party grew out of a socialist workers party that became ultra-nationalized and later turned to barbaric practices such as slavery in addition to their other means. Regardless, not like I have a personal stake in the matter anyway, it is historical fact that they implemented socialist policies, disagree if you like, or look it up.
    Last edited by other; 01-11-11 at 03:13 PM.

  2. #42
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    Re: Were the Nazis Right or Left Wing?

    I could not give an answer from this poll because it is not about what is predominant. People who identify the Nazis with the right prove their own ignorance of National Socialism just like when people suggest the Nazis were not hostile to Christianity. The fact is the structure of the state as envisioned by Nazism was without question of a left-wing orientation and its origins are in left-wing ideology. The main difference is that, like other brands of Fascism, it rejected the internationalist aspiration of other left-wing ideologies and pursued a strictly nationalist end. When you look at Nazi economic policy and Nazi economic theory you begin to see that it was clearly not oriented towards the ideas of the right. Nazi economic policy and theory was comparable to Lenin's New Economic Policy. What changed is again, the introduction of strong nationalism into the ideology. So Nazism would be best described as a form of left-wing nationalism.
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    Re: Were the Nazis Right or Left Wing?

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    You know economists, with each dissertation a new variant is detailed. State-socialism, syndicalism (unions), so-called libertarian marxism, etcetc.
    Fair enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    Not in the real world it isn't. But that is what it seeks to achieve--the maintenance of an equitqble economic system in which people are paid a sum equal to the value of their labor investment.
    In the real world, people have morals and ideals. So yes, even in the real world.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    You got the wrong implication, my fault. I really just wanted to know if you thought they valued free-enterprise over state intervention-- I didn't mention socialism in the question. They used many types of intervention, some of which I mentioned above, including socialist policies.
    Ok. I misunderstood.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    So, you don't think it's possible for a government to use socialist policies to enrich an elite minority at the expense of a destitute population? Look at Zimbabwe.
    I think its possible to use socialist policies, but that doesn't necessarily make someone socialist. It is more than just an economic philosophy, it is a political one which contains morality and world views.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    1) Socialist policies can be implemented without the fulfillment of the "moral obligation" to reimburse the people for their labor equitably. First and foremost because large scale socialism never does so, and as I mentioned before, the nazi's did attach moral welfare to the people's well-being but they did so via the sell-being of the state. The difference is simply one of method of redistribution, in effect. That doesn't alter the substance of the policies.
    The Nazis did not seek equitability. They were very much inclined to treat groups of people differently, which betrays their intentions and is therefore not socialist.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    2) If you are defining capitalism as the promotion of corporations by the nazi government, then your idea of capitalism has very little to do with "free-enterprise."
    Not necessarily, the nazis were certainly willing to let businesses be businesses when it suited them.

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    3) So you are saying the distinction is meaningless because they used certain other means as well? No, I don't think its meaningless. As has been mentioned earlier, the party grew out of a socialist-style party that became ultra-nationalized and later turned to barbaric practices such as slavery. Regardless, not like I have a personal stake in the matter anyway, it is historical fact that they implemented socialist policies, disagree if you like, or look it up.
    I think if we are going to bring up all sorts of methods, we should either include all of those methods into a long list of prefixes or not include any. That was my point.

    My complaint is twofold
    1. Socialism has a moral dimension and if a society simply uses methods without including all of it, its not really the same thing. I certainly wouldn't call someone a libertarian if their goals were different from libertarians but they happen to have commonality between issues.
    2. To bring up one aspect of the ideology in isolation of everything else and pretend that all that other stuff doesn't exist just to demonize another ideology is dishonest. Nazis were nazis and part of nazism is government intervention, but it does not follow that government intervention is necessarily socialism.

  4. #44
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    Re: Were the Nazis Right or Left Wing?

    The Nazis were a true big-government party. Neither the American "right" nor the American "left" is a true big-government party. One believes in basically unlimited economic rights and the other believes in basically unlimited social rights. The Nazis believed in neither, or at least were highly discriminatory in who they awarded them to.

    I'd say the more dangerous parts of Naziism - in other words, the racism, militarism, and zealous nationalism - are found more commonly amongst the right, however.

  5. #45
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    Re: Were the Nazis Right or Left Wing?

    The ironic part is that the Nazi's rose to power with the sort of "four legs good, two legs bad" mentality that pervades this thread.

  6. #46
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    Re: Were the Nazis Right or Left Wing?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Fair enough.

    In the real world, people have morals and ideals. So yes, even in the real world.

    Ok. I misunderstood.

    I think its possible to use socialist policies, but that doesn't necessarily make someone socialist. It is more than just an economic philosophy, it is a political one which contains morality and world views.

    The Nazis did not seek equitability. They were very much inclined to treat groups of people differently, which betrays their intentions and is therefore not socialist.

    Not necessarily, the nazis were certainly willing to let businesses be businesses when it suited them.

    I think if we are going to bring up all sorts of methods, we should either include all of those methods into a long list of prefixes or not include any. That was my point.
    I understand your point of view. Please note that I wasn't trying to argue that the nazis were primarily socialist, or good socialists, or whatever. I only stated that they did implement many socialist policies, especially early on; take from that what you will.

    My complaint is twofold
    1. Socialism has a moral dimension and if a society simply uses methods without including all of it, its not really the same thing. I certainly wouldn't call someone a libertarian if their goals were different from libertarians but they happen to have commonality between issues.
    True enough. And as I said, I wouldn't really say the nazis were socialist and leave it at that, only that they did use socialism--both to win favor with the masses and to gain control over private industries. They were more than just simple, run of the mill socialists.

    2. To bring up one aspect of the ideology in isolation of everything else and pretend that all that other stuff doesn't exist just to demonize another ideology is dishonest. Nazis were nazis and part of nazism is government intervention, but it does not follow that government intervention is necessarily socialism.
    Notice that I never pretended that the other interventions were non-existant... I even listed some of them earlier as a clarification.

    I would just say, that being said, it is also folly to ignore or downplay certain aspects that did at times play a central role in their rise to power in Germany and their iron-fisted control over German industry. Not to leave out other methods as well. And their use of socialism early on, starting as early as 1920 (the "25 points"), makes it a little easier to understand the "national socialist" moniker.
    Last edited by other; 01-11-11 at 05:43 PM.

  7. #47
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    Re: Were the Nazis Right or Left Wing?

    None of the above -- our current definition of Right Wing doesn't fit the political spectrum model under which the Nazi's would be on the FAR RIGHT.

  8. #48
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    Re: Were the Nazis Right or Left Wing?

    Quote Originally Posted by SirPwn4lot View Post
    Were the Nazi Party of Germany a right wing or left wing establishment?

    I figure this is a better place to discuss than on someone else's thread like we were

    Opinions?
    Culturally conservative, economically centrist, socially progressive.

    One of the most dangerous combinations imaginable under one-party rule.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 01-11-11 at 10:01 PM.
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    Re: Were the Nazis Right or Left Wing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    Culturally conservative, economically centrist, socially progressive.

    One of the most dangerous combinations imaginable under one-party rule.
    So what's the best/least dangerous?
    Education.

    Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

  10. #50
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    Re: Were the Nazis Right or Left Wing?

    Okay, I officially no longer care whether the Nazi's were left-wing, right-wing, or in the middle of a four-dimensional Klein bottle. :

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