Saturday, November 27, 2004


What the Nazis Called for - Closer to Conservatives or Liberals?

People forget this. But it's interesting to compare what the politics of the Nazis and the politics of the American left and right really are, and who is actually closer.

Comparing someone to a Nazi involves far more of an emotional appeal than a factual argument, unless the person is, in fact, a card-carrying Nazi. If you're not actually discussing genocide and brutal world domination, the Nazi comparison is just plain offensive. What confuses most people is its frequent application to pretty much anybody to the ideological right of Lenin.

In fact, the Nazis were actually socialists by nature, not capitalists. In a 1927 speech, Hitler said, ''We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically 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 all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.''

The word ''Nazi'' is short for Nationalsozialistische deutsche Arbeiter-Partei, or National Socialist German Workers' Party. Hitler came to power by turning the unemployed, the working class, and the academic elitists against the rather conservative German republic. In fact, once he achieved power, anyone who questioned his policies was branded a ''conservative reactionary'' by the state press.

In a widely distributed 1932 pamphlet, Joseph Goebbels addressed the question of Socialism. ''We are socialists,'' he wrote, ''because we see the social question as a matter of necessity and justice for the very existence of a state for our people, not a question of cheap pity or insulting sentimentality. The worker has a claim to a living standard that corresponds to what he produces.''

The Nazi Party platform contained 25 demands, adopted in 1920 and essentially unaltered at the time Hitler took power. Many of those socialist demands resonate far better with modern-day American liberals than Conservatives. Consider the following examples:

7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens.

Does this sound more akin to the liberal belief that the government is responsible for job losses or gains, or the conservative position that jobs are created by private enterprise (though helped or hindered by current economic policies)? Does it sound like a demand for welfare?

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

This is aimed directly at landlords and large business owners. It hardly seems likely that capitalists and conservatives would insist that no one receive any money unless he personally earn it by doing the actual work themselves.

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.

If that doesn't sound like today's standard liberal hate speech against Halliburton, nothing ever will.

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

Nationalization of industries is hardly in line with the conservative aim of privatization of industries. It's liberals, in general, who want to nationalize industries (starting with healthcare).

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

Wealth redistribution? Does that sound like a particularly right-wing ideal?

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

Republicans and conservatives are accused of wanting to halt Medicare and steal Social Security in every election cycle, so this demand for expansion could hardly be a part of any conservative agenda.

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.

Conservatives, who favor more limited government with lower taxes (in order to restrict its growth), would directly oppose a strong central government with unlimited authority (possibly resisting with guns, which German citizens first had to register, then surrender).

Despite the historical facts, liberals frequently insist on equating conservatives and Republicans to Nazis. This is only done to stir up feelings of hate, of course. If Democrats want to know why they keep losing elections, it's because they allow the left-wing politics of hatred to be their public face. Until the Democrats relegate liberals to the minority fringe where they belong, we will continue to see the country slide towards a one-party system, which would be detrimental to us all.

Source: Joe Mariani, Emphasis added

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