Thursday, 23 February 2017

Were Nazi's left wing?

Nazi and fascist are just insults implying that your politics are evil. It is predominantly used by the left against the right. This is not a modern phenomenon, it was done by the communists decades ago.

The problem is that insults often carry meaning. When a man calls another stupid, or a fool, it is an insult that his opponent lacks intelligence. If man calls another a hater it means his opponent lacks love, or kindness. Now there is plenty of inconsistency such that idiots call others idiots, and that "hater" is predominantly used by those sold out to vitriol. Even so, "stupid" and "hate" carry their meaning. But Nazi implies that you have a bad ideology that will lead to murder and genocide. This is concerning because if ideology leads to genocide, which it can, then it matters what that ideology is.

I have read that the Nazi's were not socialist, that there was nothing left-wing about Nazism at all, that fascism is right-wing and right-wing ideologues use this term self referentially.

False rhetoric benefits from lack of clarity and misuse of terms. But if fascism was left-wing and we convince right leaning people to abandon right leaning ideas because they are fascist, then they may adopt ideas that are more fascist than those which they already hold. It seems counter productive to hate a position while increasingly adopting it.

There seems to be several concepts that are traditionally left and right though various groups have adopted them over time. Eugenics was taken up by the left decades ago but has since been rejected by them in the main. To broadly categorise, concepts could be divided into left and right economics, left and right social policy, and nationalism versus globalism. Whereas economics and social policy has more definitively divided along the left and the right, nationalism and globalism are  not clearly divided along those lines.

Fascists were clearly nationalists compared with the communists of yore. But being expansionist does not seem to be particularly a nationalist or globalist position as can be seen by the Soviets and the Nazis.

The categorisation of a party can be seen by both their policies and (especially) their behaviour. In as much as what they enforce, or attempt to enforce, their policies are reliable. In as much as their policies are not enforced, or the party acts contrary to such policy, the positions are a sham (or propaganda).

Below are the 25 policies of the Nazi Party from 1920 until the end of World War 2. I will categorise the positions and the reader can see how fascism (at least the Nazi variant) is best described.

***

The Party Program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party summarised in 25 points.

1. We demand the unification of all Germans in the Greater Germany on the basis of the right of self-determination of peoples.

Nationalist. Expansionist.

2. We demand equality of rights for the German people in respect to the other nations; abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and St. Germain.

Not clearly left or right.

3. We demand land and territory (colonies) for the sustenance of our people, and colonization for our surplus population.

Economic left. Possibly expansionist.

4. Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood, without consideration of creed. Consequently no Jew can be a member of the race.

Nationalist. Specifically anti-Semitic.

5. Whoever has no citizenship is to be able to live in Germany only as a guest, and must be under the authority of legislation for foreigners.

Nationalist.

6. The right to determine matters concerning administration and law belongs only to the citizen. Therefore we demand that every public office, of any sort whatsoever, whether in the Reich, the county or municipality, be filled only by citizens. We combat the corrupting parliamentary economy, office-holding only according to party inclinations without consideration of character or abilities.

Nationalist.

7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.

Social left. Nationalist.

8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since the 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.

Nationalist.

9. All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

Not clearly left or right. Depends what is meant by this statement.

10. The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all Consequently we demand:

Social left.

11. Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of rent-slavery.

Economic left.

12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

Not clearly left or right.

13. We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

Economic left.

14. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

Economic left.

15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

Social left.

16. We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

Economic left.

17. We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

Economic left excepting taxes.

Abolition of land tax economic right.

18. We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.

Possibly social left

19. We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.

Possibly nationalist.

20. The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the State must be striven for by the school [Staatsbuergerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the State of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.

Social left.

21. The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

Social left.

22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

Nationalist.

23. We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press. In order to enable the provision of a German press, we demand, that: a. All writers and employees of the newspapers appearing in the German language be members of the race: b. Non-German newspapers be required to have the express permission of the State to be published. They may not be printed in the German language: c. Non-Germans are forbidden by law any financial interest in German publications, or any influence on them, and as punishment for violations the closing of such a publication as well as the immediate expulsion from the Reich of the non-German concerned. Publications which are counter to the general good are to be forbidden. We demand legal prosecution of artistic and literary forms which exert a destructive influence on our national life, and the closure of organizations opposing the above made demands.

Social left.

24. We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: common utility precedes individual utility.

Social right. Anti-Semitic.

25. For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power in the Reich. Unlimited authority of the central parliament over the whole Reich and its organizations in general. The forming of state and profession chambers for the execution of the laws made by the Reich within the various states of the confederation. The leaders of the Party promise, if necessary by sacrificing their own lives, to support by the execution of the points set forth above without consideration.

Social left.

***

So of 25 statements, with some overlap, we have
  • Not clearly left or right: 2
  • Economic left: 6
  • Social left: 8
  • Economic right: 1
  • Social right: 1
  • Nationalist: 8
  • Expansionist: 2
  • Anti-Semitic: 2
Unless one considers nationalism specifically a right-wing phenomenon, the policies of the Nazi party cannot be considered right-wing, let alone extreme right-wing.

This is a little more complicated in that item #17 was subsequently explained as allowing private ownership with the provision of expropriation if necessary, and also preventing speculation by Jews. This would increase the number of anti-Semitic points and make the sole economic right point unlikely. Further, item #24 is likely to be predominantly anti-Semitic and the subsequent opposition of the Nazis to churches who spoke against them makes the sole social right item also unlikely.

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