Hitler and the “Right Wing”

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Joseph Goebbels

Sixty-five years after his death, Adolf Hitler is still the hardest working man in politics. Leftists too lazy to construct a reasoned argument use the words “Hitler” and “Nazi” to disparage anything or anyone with whom they disagree. If Hitler could have one of his sins forgiven every time an American liberal uses his name in a political argument, he’d have full sainthood by now, and be guarding the gates of Heaven in place of Saint Peter.

Mao alone has murdered five or six times as many innocent people as der Fuhrer, but somehow only Hitler has his name used for purposes of political demonization.  The reason leftists always use “Hitler” to disparage conservatives, rather than “Stalin,” or “Mao,” or “Pol Pot;” is that no one has ever been able to portray those mass murderers as being part of the right wing. Left-leaning professors and textbook writers are reluctant to mention the crimes of Communist dictators at all, and no self-respecting liberal would ever use one of their names as a metaphor for evil. Hitler is always portrayed as part of the right wing, hence he can be the personification of everything bad.

But was Hitler really a right winger?

When Socialism is “Right Wing”

Adolf Hitler’s political party was called the National Socialist German Worker’s Party. The word “Nazi” is a contraction of the German words for “National” and “Socialist.” Some left-leaning textbook authors, embarrassed at using the word “Socialist” to describe a political party that is universally condemned for its murders and repressions, only use the contraction, and studiously avoid the actual name of the party. Professor Eric Foner, for example, never uses the words “National Socialist” in his freshman history textbook Give Me Liberty. He even refuses to refer to the movement as “National Socialism,” substituting the rather clumsy-sounding faux word “Nazism.”

In a chapter on Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, Dr. Foner tells us that President Roosevelt “conceived of the New Deal as an alternative to socialism on the left, Nazism on the right, and the inaction of upholders of unregulated capitalism.” The message is clear: “Nazism” was a right wing movement; the very opposite of socialism.

It’s easy to see why leftists like Professor Foner never mention the party’s actual name.

The five authors1 of the textbook Nation of Nations lump together Mussolini’s Fascist party and Hitler’s National Socialist party as right wing defenders of capitalism: “During the 1920’s, Italian fascists (sic) rejected the liberal belief in political parties in favor of a glorified nation-state dominated by the middle class, small businesspeople, and small farmers. In Germany Adolf Hitler trumpeted similar fascist ideals and relied on equally brutal tactics to gain power in 1933. His Nazi party used its Gestapo, or secret police, to ensure that the…(etc.)”

The misrepresentations here are almost too numerous to count. First of all, spelling “fascist” with a lower case “f,” and then claiming that these “fascists” rejected belief in political parties, is outrageous. Mussolini was the leader of a political party. The name of the party was Partito Nazionale Fascista, or National Fascist Party.

To say that Fascist Party was a friend of small businesspeople is about as far from the truth as you can get. Mussolini was a lifelong believer in socialism. He studied the works of Karl Marx, and was active in Socialist party politics from his youth. The Fascist government controlled every aspect of Italy’s economy. It implemented “progressive” taxes on capital and profits, controlled prices, and dictated wages. Jonah Goldberg has written a best-selling book  on the subject, which Thomas Sowell ably summarizes in a recent column.

The textbook is right about one thing. Hitler’s National Socialist Party was very much like the Fascists.

 The Party Platform

Hitler worked with two other National Socialists to write up the party’s platform in February of 1920. The platform was “nationalist and anti-Semitic in character, and it came out strongly against Capitalism, the trusts, the big industrialists, and the big landowners.”2 Hitler’s talk about socialism was always based more on pragmatic politics than on any deeply felt ideology, but, as author Alan Bullock puts it, “in origin the National Socialists had been a radical anti-capitalist party, and this side of the Nazi programme was not only taken seriously by many loyal Party members but was of increasing importance in a period of economic depression.”3

Hitler understood that the German people found socialist ideas attractive, and positioned himself and his party to attract as much mainstream support as possible. To that end, he chose Joseph Goebbels, a committed socialist, as his propaganda chief. Goebbels and Hitler portrayed their party as being the guardians of “true” socialism, as they battled Germany’s Soviet-backed Communist party for left-leaning voters. To separate leftist voters from the Communist party, Goebbels published posters and articles portraying the Communists as being in league with Germany’s capitalists, as counterintuitive as that might seem.

National Socialist Anti-Semitism

The Nazis’ infamous anti-Semitism was a left wing phenomenon, as anti-Semitism always is. It was based in class envy, and fueled by the stereotypical view of Jews as wealthy professionals and business owners.

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Thomas Sowell examines the history of anti-Semitic resentments in his book The Economics and Politics of Race:

Their skills, work capacity, and frugality made Jews valuable additions to many economies, and the money they lent made them welcome by rulers and the nobility, who were often in need of loans…But the peasants and the poor of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, like their counterparts in southeast Asia, hated foreign middlemen who prospered in their midst and were therefore presumed to have prospered at their expense.4

While protected by the monarchy, Jews were bitterly resented by the poor and the uneducated in Spain – and were victims of sporadic riots in the fourteenth century.5

And it wasn’t always just the poor and uneducated who promoted hostility to Jews based on economic resentments. Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, although frequently sanitized for modern audiences, was written to perpetuate the stereotype of the Jew as a greedy, manipulative money-changer.

When Hitler and Goebbels came along they joined a long line of demagogues who had exploited class envy to stir up anti-Semitism. As author David Welch puts it, “By contrasting Jewish individualism and ‘self seeking,’ with the National Socialist ideal of a ‘people’s community’ (Volksgemeinschaft), and by showing that Jews were only motivated by money, it was possible to demonstrate that Judaism was the total antithesis of German cultural tradition as interpreted by Nazi ideology.”6

Nazi propaganda posters portrayed the “typical” Jew as a well-fed businessman wearing a suit and tie, usually holding either a briefcase or a bag of money. The “real German” was an athletically built proletarian wearing denim work clothes, and often holding a shovel.

The National Socialists advocated boycotts of Jewish-owned businesses for years.7 When they became Germany’s ruling party in 1933, one of the first things the Nazis did was organize a nationwide boycott.

From organizing a boycott the Nazi’s quickly moved on to forced wealth transfers and confiscations, and then mass murder.

The Bottom Line

During their reign, Hitler’s National Socialists murdered some twelve million innocent people. Roughly half of the victims were Jewish. Today history professors and other leftists portray the “right wing” Nazis as the very personification of evil, while overlooking the twenty to thirty million Soviets murdered by their Communist government, and the forty-five to seventy-five million innocents Mao’s Communist government murdered in China. It would be more honest to say that leftist ideologies were responsible for all of the horrors committed in all of these countries.

More honest, but not politically correct.

1Davidson, Gienapp, Heyrman, Lytle, and Stoff
2Alan Bullock, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, paperback, p. 41
3ibid., p. 80
4Thomas Sowell, The Economics and Politics of Race, p. 83
5ibid., p. 85
6David Welch, The Third Reich: Politics and Propaganda, p. 103
7C.C. Aronsfeld, The Text of the Holocaust, p. 23

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8 thoughts on “Hitler and the “Right Wing”

  • I don’t think it is that hard to understand that the extreme “left” and extreme “right of politics”, as we rationalise it, is totalitarianism. Both come from a simple human governing concept of “we know what’s best for you”.
    Think of it as isolating a spot on an imaginary circle (rather than a straight line) as the “centre” of politics. You can move to the left of that or to the right but once you are at the opposite side of the circle of politics you are in totalitarianism-ville. A good example of how this works is China. First socialist communist now capital communist. Did they swing back to the centre to move down the capitalism route? Ask a professor to explain it and listen to how they manoeuvre the conversation. Then remind the professor of Tiananmen Square. Crickets. If they can explain that away then ask them if they think “Tank Man” was capitalist of socialist. Try it.

  • Western left wingers are so desperate to distance their own views from the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterparte that they offer “Hitler killed socialists” as an argument, knowing full well that Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot all killed rival left wingers. Emphasizing the power of the state over the people is a big clue. References to Mother Russia and the Fatherland are clues too.

    Socialism loved eugenics and extermination of “useless eaters”.
    George Bernard Shaw was a FOUNDER of gradual socialist FABIANS.
    George Bernard Shaw Defends Hitler and genocide

    Many internet socialists are disability or welfare cases who think socialism would hand them more money, but are generally unaware of the official socialist party support of the extermination of “useless eaters” like disability or welfare cases.

    Internet socialists commonly pretend it hasn’t been tried, apparently unaware that several previous attempts at socialism resulted in mass death and communism.

  • The Nazi’s were not left wing, in fact Hitler personally hated socialists. The ‘night of the long knives’ had any socialist thinking member of the party killed.

    Before joining the party that would later be named the NAZI’s he was huge admirer of Benito Mussolini’s far-right fascist party even writing to him asking for a signed picture which Mussolini didn’t send.

    Though Hitler did apply some socialist policy in the early years that many people at the time congratulated him on before taking the Nazi’s more and more to the far-right and murdering as many socialists as he could.

    The Nazi party was purposely vague about it’s policies to attract people from both sides, a lot like the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), that is desperately attempting to draw in support from left-wing working classes when it is a right-wing movement.

  • Jews were first Boycott Germany – few people know the facts about the singular fact, the international Jewish declaration of war on Germany shortly after Adolf Hitler came to power and well before any official German government sanctions or reprisals against Jews were carried out. The March 24, 1933 issue of The Daily Express of London (shown “Judea declare war on Germany – Jews of All the World Unite – Boycott of German Goods – Mass Demonstrations.”) Just look Google …” March 24, 1933″ ( image search)

  • Privatization was simply the result of undoing the centralization of government that was required to fight World War One. Once war time is over nationalized entities should be returned to the private sector. Privatization is not a Nazi principle. It is an error to paint it as such.

    For instance, Japan’s post office after privatization became one of the most valuable companies in the world, and no longer is a burden to the Japan’s taxpayers. That is not a “Nazi” principle, just good business.

  • “Hitler’s tax policies favoured middle-class property owners. In September 1933, finance minister Schwerin von Krosigk sent to the Reich Chancellery a proposal to reduce taxes by a total of RM 532 billion per year. The land tax on urban and agricultural landowners and the agricultural turnover tax were reduced. Newly constructed homes were exempted from income tax, property taxes, the rural land tax and half of the urban land tax. Businessmen supported the government’s tax reduction measures, and demanded more, particularly the elimination of employers’ contributions to the national insurance programme which added social costs to the price of their products. Hitler and his government agreed in principle.”

    Source: “Interwar unemployment in international perspective”, edited by Barry J. Eichengreen and T. J. Hatton.
    North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Scientific Affairs Division, Centre for Economic Policy Research

    Hmm,anti communist, privatization and tax cuts for the middle class: Sounds Rightwing to me.

  • This article fails and it fails bad: In the Doctrine of Facism, Mussolini writes:

    “It is to be expected that this century may be that of authority, a century of the “Right,” a Fascist century.”

    You know where privatization originated?

    “Although modern economic literature usually ignores the fact, the Nazi government in 1930s
    Germany undertook a wide scale privatization policy. The government sold public ownership in
    several State-owned firms in different sectors. In addition, delivery of some public services
    previously produced by the public sector was transferred to the private sector, mainly to
    organizations within the Nazi Party.”

    Source: Bel, Germà,Against the Mainstream: Nazi Privatization in 1930s Germany(March 2006)

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