Facism and Communism

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Re: Facism and Communism

Postby Strategus » 28 Jul 2018, 18:15

mat.gopack wrote:
V wrote:
mat.gopack wrote:Are people still responding to Zosimus? Really, the moment he claimed that the Nazis were socialists is the moment you should know you can safely ignore what he's saying and spare yourself the trouble.


The National Socialist German Workers' Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

A short point in defense of what Zosimus stated (not his whole thesis). The above is the correct name for the Nazi party, (which it became known as later) when it was founded in 1920. The party put huge focus on actions that would benefit German workers & thereby gained significant popular support. It’s other actions should not prevent acknowledgement that it did much for German workers. It was at the time in competition with German Communists vying for popularity amongst the working population.

Historical accuracy is sometimes of value...

The party had socialist in the name, yes. But the Nazis as we associate them were most definitely not socialists - those who had that general leaning were purged in the night of the long knives. The attempt to associate themselves with socialism to draw in worker support by and large failed, and didn't go into their policy. Additionally, I've never seen anything to say that they "did much for German workers" - especially since one of the constituencies they never really had as much support in was working class - their support came predominantly from the middle class. Obviously they had a good chunk of support there - but less so than their overall vote percentages, and significantly less than their support from the middle class.

If you say that they were socialists because they had it in their name, you'd have to say that North Korea is the most democratic nation on earth.

Their ideology was socialism. Their economy was socialist. Just because you don't like it doesn't make it untrue.
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Re: Facism and Communism

Postby V » 28 Jul 2018, 18:32

mat.gopack wrote:
V wrote:
mat.gopack wrote:Are people still responding to Zosimus? Really, the moment he claimed that the Nazis were socialists is the moment you should know you can safely ignore what he's saying and spare yourself the trouble.


The National Socialist German Workers' Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)

A short point in defense of what Zosimus stated (not his whole thesis). The above is the correct name for the Nazi party, (which it became known as later) when it was founded in 1920. The party put huge focus on actions that would benefit German workers & thereby gained significant popular support. It’s other actions should not prevent acknowledgement that it did much for German workers. It was at the time in competition with German Communists vying for popularity amongst the working population.

Historical accuracy is sometimes of value...

The party had socialist in the name, yes. But the Nazis as we associate them were most definitely not socialists - those who had that general leaning were purged in the night of the long knives. The attempt to associate themselves with socialism to draw in worker support by and large failed, and didn't go into their policy. Additionally, I've never seen anything to say that they "did much for German workers" - especially since one of the constituencies they never really had as much support in was working class - their support came predominantly from the middle class. Obviously they had a good chunk of support there - but less so than their overall vote percentages, and significantly less than their support from the middle class.

If you say that they were socialists because they had it in their name, you'd have to say that North Korea is the most democratic nation on earth.


Again for historical accuracy;
The night of the long knives had nothing to do with purging Socialists. It targeted leadership of Röhm’s SA (Brown shirt private army) that were at the time in internal rivalry with Himmler’s SS & Goering’s Gestapo (as the organisation’s “enforcers”). The SA lost.

The Nazi party drastically reduced unemployment (an obvious huge benefit to German Workers) but that might have been largely as a result of their rearmament program. It wasn’t all bad though with construction of the Autobahn system (first “Freeways” in the World).

I don’t know voter percentages amongst class representation (I’d be interested in seeing any evidence you have to back up the statements above). In the election following the Reichstag fire 1933, their position as most popular single party in Germany was unassailable. About 44% compared to 18% for nearest opposition. How they achieved this popularity is very much up for debate. There weren’t subsequent elections to determine popularity.

It was between 1933 & 1939 that the German workers saw most of the benefits of National Socialism. Thereafter we all know how it ended in tears for millions of all nationalities. Please note I’m in no way a Nazi supporter. I have however read a great deal of history from this era to gain understanding of what happened & why. The Nazis did garner huge support among the German working class (honestly or not is another question).
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Re: Facism and Communism

Postby Strategus » 28 Jul 2018, 18:47

Hey, they were politicians... Honesty is not normally something you associate.
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Re: Facism and Communism

Postby mat.gopack » 28 Jul 2018, 18:52

The night of the long knives purged those of the party that had anything near a socialist or left wing view. Sure it didn't necessarily have to do with purging socialists - the nazis before that purge weren't socialist, but they were even further afterwards.

Here's a source that talks at least somewhat about the sociological makeup of support for the Nazis - and with a more substantial element of worker support than some others would. https://www.jstor.org/stable/493126 . Page 388 is when it starts talking about the working class support for the party - though, they do distinguish between the organized industrial workers, who they didn't have much inroads with, and with the unorganized/nonindustrial working class where they were much more successful.

The nazi economy was based on a house of cards. They borrowed super heavily and tried to disguise it behind smokescreens like the Mefo bills - but in the end it was always going to be based on their war spoils to keep them out of the red financially.

As for unemployment, I do believe that wages went down and general prices went up during that period, along with longer working hours - so it's not like it was a great success. Plus, killing unions like the nazis did is not a sign of a pro-worker regime... Autobahn wise, I'm not sure how much that really affected everyday workers - most of whom wouldn't be able to afford a car at the time, even with the push for the VW.

None of that is to say that the Nazis didn't have genuine, widespread support among all of german social classes at the time. But to call it a movement based on the working class is false. To call it socialism is false. To call it a successful economy is false.

@GPD - what is your definition of socialism, by the way? Unless you're working on a strange or non-standard ones, the nazis would definitely not be considered socialists.
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Re: Facism and Communism

Postby Strategus » 28 Jul 2018, 19:01

A closed centrally based economy. I didn't say it was successful. But that is true of most socialism.
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Re: Facism and Communism

Postby V » 28 Jul 2018, 19:12

Lol. The Autobahns were not primarily intended for the use of workers driving their yet to be built VW’s. They were for Hitler’s tanks & military vehicles! Germany always feared a two front war & the need for troop mobility was learnt by some very hard WW1 lessons. The primary reason Hitler wanted Autobahns was in preparation for war. However many jobs were accidentally created.
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Re: Facism and Communism

Postby mat.gopack » 28 Jul 2018, 19:19

GPD wrote:A closed centrally based economy. I didn't say it was successful. But that is true of most socialism.

Well, that's the problem then. That is not the normal definition of it, which is supposed to be "worker control of the means of production."

The form that takes depends - most of those that claimed to be socialist (eg - the Soviet Union) ended up more authoritarian - because they saw the state as the way that the workers could collectively control the means of production. There's also elements of other thought (vanguard party, etc) and just plain old authoritarianism thrown in.

But there are other types of socialist thought that's very different. Catalonia during the spanish civil war was socialist, but was much more anarchist. Same with the Ukrainian free territory during the russian civil war (aka Makhnovia). Neither of those would have had a centrally based economy.

Anyways, the Nazis didn't care about worker control, or even for central basis of the economy. They had many of the wealthy industrial elite/business owners supporting them, and gave them big kickbacks - they even privatized many industries! However, as I understand it, they did direct a lot of the economy with their military and wartime spending/control. But they were not trying to control the entire economy in the way your definition seems to imply.

V wrote:Lol. The Autobahns were not primarily intended for the use of workers driving their yet to be built VW’s. They were for Hitler’s tanks & military vehicles! Germany always feared a two front war & the need for troop mobility was learnt by some very hard WW1 lessons. The primary reason Hitler wanted Autobahns was in preparation for war. However many jobs were accidentally created.


Well yes, massive work projects would create jobs, but that was being done in many western countries, even in the Weimar Republic. I wouldn't use that as an example of the nazis being pro-worker...
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Re: Facism and Communism

Postby V » 28 Jul 2018, 19:30

As GPD intimated the Nazis were power grabbing politicians. They used pro-worker policies (like free cruise holidays) to achieve support through propaganda. They only ever wanted power (not some philosophical “good deeds for workers”).

My comment was that the party claimed to support workers, sometimes took action to support workers & became popular with workers. I never claimed it was either honest, or that successful (other than skilful deception maybe). This could of course be said of many Communist parties of the same era, that made similar achievements on similar pretexts.
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Re: Facism and Communism

Postby Strategus » 28 Jul 2018, 19:54

mat.gopack wrote:
GPD wrote:A closed centrally based economy. I didn't say it was successful. But that is true of most socialism.

Well, that's the problem then. That is not the normal definition of it, which is supposed to be "worker control of the means of production."

The form that takes depends - most of those that claimed to be socialist (eg - the Soviet Union) ended up more authoritarian - because they saw the state as the way that the workers could collectively control the means of production. There's also elements of other thought (vanguard party, etc) and just plain old authoritarianism thrown in.

But there are other types of socialist thought that's very different. Catalonia during the spanish civil war was socialist, but was much more anarchist. Same with the Ukrainian free territory during the russian civil war (aka Makhnovia). Neither of those would have had a centrally based economy.

Anyways, the Nazis didn't care about worker control, or even for central basis of the economy. They had many of the wealthy industrial elite/business owners supporting them, and gave them big kickbacks - they even privatized many industries! However, as I understand it, they did direct a lot of the economy with their military and wartime spending/control. But they were not trying to control the entire economy in the way your definition seems to imply.

V wrote:Lol. The Autobahns were not primarily intended for the use of workers driving their yet to be built VW’s. They were for Hitler’s tanks & military vehicles! Germany always feared a two front war & the need for troop mobility was learnt by some very hard WW1 lessons. The primary reason Hitler wanted Autobahns was in preparation for war. However many jobs were accidentally created.


Well yes, massive work projects would create jobs, but that was being done in many western countries, even in the Weimar Republic. I wouldn't use that as an example of the nazis being pro-worker...

So were Blair's government socialists?
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Re: Facism and Communism

Postby mat.gopack » 28 Jul 2018, 20:01

Was the economy controlled by the workers? No - it was made up of mostly private property owners (eg - investors). So no, it wouldn't be socialist.
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