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What Puts Nazism on the Right?
This is a sincere question to which I’ve never had a satisfactory answer. I may have even asked it here before. We all know what Nazism is, but I think we need to define what we mean by “Right,” and specifically the American Right. I know some people prefer the quadrant model of political ideology to the linear one. Libertarian to authoritarian on one axis and communism to free markets on the other. But, where’s the overlap between Hitler’s Germany and American conservatism?
Do law-and-order righties fall on the far right of the axis in opposition to the chaos-and-destruction (2020 summer of love) lefties? I don’t think law and order is all that authoritarian, at least in America. If laws are just and equally applied (increasingly not the case), that would appear to be in a sweet spot near the political middle.
Economically, I don’t see American conservatives as radically free-market fundamentalists, although there are some who seem to hold that position. Personally, I’m more of a fair trade kind of gal. I see tariffs as useful to counteract those who would exploit our entrepreneurial capitalism by dumping their products and putting our industries out of business (cough China cough). But economic fascism seems more related to the hand-in-glove state and corporate cooperation the Left adores (see Big Pharma, Big Media, Big Education, . . . ).
So where’s the overlap with Nazism? Here’s what I think. I think the Left uses the Nazi/fascist slander to suggest that American nationalism (sometimes associated with patriotism or love of homeland) is just like the poisonous ethnic nationalism of Nazi Germany — Hitler’s Aryanism. It’s the basis for charges of “inherently racist” and “white supremacist.”
It’s an absurd notion. Is all nationalism Nazism? Are the French Nazis for loving their culture and language? How about the Swedes or the Spanish? It’s particularly slanderous given that America has never been ethnically pure and hasn’t even aspired to it, except in pockets where Democrats and the KKK (but, I repeat) held sway.
None of which is to say that patriots are required to believe America is faultless. I happen to believe there’s a fatal flaw in our Constitution — a sin of omission that allows the federal government to buy votes by redistributing our tax dollars. That’s a limit on government power (the raison d’etre of our Constitution) I’d like to see, but I’m not an idealist on the matter.
When American right-wingers assent to the idea that Nazis and fascists are on the Right, they’re submitting to the notion that American patriots are racist white supremacists. I dissent. And don’t even get me started on how any form of moral, academic, or artistic excellence is now considered “white supremacy.” As if nonwhites are incapable of high achievement. Who’s the racist now?Published in General
It’s the Left who insists these things are somehow all “conservative,” because they’re trying to hide.
Nothing says “free market capitalism” like a party entitled the “National Socialist German Worker’s Party.”
Right. The Nazis were socialists (Left), ethnic nationalists (racists) — which has nothing to do with the American Right. It turns out the American Right isn’t even authoritarian. Who’s in favor of vaccine mandates and against school choice? It isn’t the Right.
Naziism is not only nationalist, indeed it is not truly nationalist at all, because it attacked and sought to destroy a group of people who were members of its own nation.
Under Imperial Germany, Anne Franke’s father, Otto, served in the German army and received a field commission to officer status. Under Nazi Germany, Otto Frank and his family were thrown into a concentration camp.
Capitalism creates inequality and inequality is fascist. Or so they say…. I’m just grasping at stupid progressive straws.
Naw, capitalism just accepts inevitable inequality and tries to make the best of it.
Even fascism is socialist, as Jonah Goldberg pointed out in his superb Liberal Fascism. Fascism, Nazism, and Communism are all flavors of totalitarian Leftism. The reason the NSDAP and the Soviet Commies hated each other is they they were threats to each other from the Left.
Unfortunately, “fascist” and “Nazi” now simply mean “something with which I do not agree” if one is on the Left.
The racism. Racism is considered right-wing. If the Nazis hadn’t been so overtly racist they would have been counted as left-wing.
(Left-wing racism gets a pass because it’s couched in euphemism and “good-intentions” or simply just denied outright.)
I think that’s what I said.
I disagree. It means racist, white-supremacist nationalist. Which is why right-wingers should have a better answer to the charge. Maybe — “Why do you believe blacks can’t compete with whites? I don’t believe that.”
I disagree. Fascist Italy and Fascist Spain weren’t any more racist than a typical European country of that time. (Or even now, one might argue, based on some comments at soccer games.) It was the opposition to Communism, though Italy was certainly left-wing, that got them branded “right-wing.” Note how most Leftists give Stalin and Mao a pass, even though they made Hitler look like a piker.
See my reply to Misth as to why I don’t think it’s racism.
There isn’t really any; however, I don’t think it was actually meant that way at the time. I think that Fascism was seen as on the European right, blood and soil, as opposed to the European left multinational one world socialism. It has absolutely nothing to do with the American right which is quite different and is more focused on America’s founding documents. Realistically though in its own time it was not seen as on the right or the left. Fascism was seen as a third way. Melding the technocratic scientific rule of socialism with a focus on Nationalism (blood and soil) as opposed to tradition (throne and altar). Right now if you wanted to be super generous to the left and super uncharitable to the right I suppose you could say that they both are more concerned with nationalism and oppose globalism, but that is a very, very uncharitable reading of the the Right’s views about national sovereignty and skepticism of empire.
Equating Fascism with the right was actually a conscious bit of post World War II propaganda to boost the Soviets, admittedly significant role in winning the conflict and to help left wing movements in western Europe. As with all long repeated lies It has become conventional wisdom. In reality at the moment. it is the Left that embraces both the Fascist and even the Nazi agenda. They are the ones working against the traditions (throne and altar) and toward a scientific technocratic rule. They believe in a Fascist conception of economics where companies are privately owned but essentially state controlled. They even believe in a radical view of race based social hierarchy.
You’re working off of a historical definition. It has come to mean racist, white-supremacist nationalist. Which means we shouldn’t let it slide when people use it. Come up with a better answer than “actually fascists were anti-communist” because we’re dealing with massively historically ignorant people.
Disagree. There was a reason Italy chose Ethiopia as its target for invasion instead of targets closer to home.
Nazi self-definition, from 1929.
My guess is it was used initially by the Communists to distinguish national socialism from global socialism (Communism) and may have been applied only to that spectrum of socialism. This may go back more than a century and even predate the rise of Hitler and Mussolini. Possibly later an advantage was seen, particularly as a more free-market oriented America rose to international power, to expand that spectrum and incorporate racism as this was a vulnerable position where America could be placed on the defensive. Hitler was crucial to that incorporation so we rarely hear Mussolini used as comparable to Hitler. It’s a false placement of nationalist Americans.
The framing of Fascist is right and communism is left is a trap to make us believe branches of socialism are the only alternatives available.
The horizontal axis isn’t as important as the vertical axis
And big government.
Big is the enemy we should be confronting. There are few beneficial things that must be big to serve the people. The people should not go there except when proven no other way.
The only way the people can be forced to go there is by the big government/big corporate combination.
Nazis claim to put country first while socialists generally claim that borders are an artificial barrier to the universal workers’ collective.
Consider Mussolini. One of Europe’s most read socialists, he goes off to WWI as an Italian patriot. Italy gets waxed at the battle of Caporeto and knocked out of the war. Mussolini resented his anti-war socialist friends as undermining the war effort. They (correctly) saw the war as rich royal cousins and their corporate abettors using young men as cannon fodder to resolve a family dispute and support for the war as a betrayal of socialist values.
He had a post-war ideological epiphany after the war. The “workers of the world unite” shtick does not play in a country that is mostly middle class combined with a lot of people who aspire to be middle class. You can’t ever garner a sufficient voting majority to impose real socialism on that kind of demographic. But national interest does play. Who doesn’t want to see their own country respected and prosperous? And a message based on national interest has the added advantage that when you get into power everyone who opposed that message can be tagged as a traitor.
The only real difference between Nazis and Bolsheviks is the rhetoric used to get into power. Once in, they are remarkably similar.
I don’t think the link is rational in any way. However, I think the link the academic Left has always tried to establish is to the German Nazis’ and Italian Fascists’ authoritarianism and racism and aversion to social change–that is, what they wrongfully accuse us of being.
I suppose that, to the extent that German Nazis opposed their Communist contemporaries, that painted Nazis as the opposites of Communists and since Comminism is “left” that must mean Nazis are “right”.
But like you, I dissent.
To me it’s merely a flavor of Socialism.
Communists are International Socialists.
Nazis are National Socialists.
Anyone who says Nazism on the Right is either using a European definition or an American Leftist/Communist. In Europe, Left/Right date back to the French Revolution and has nothing to do with the American Right. For Communists, everything that not communism is “on the right” or “fascist” or “capitalist”.
It is scary how the (D)/Left went full tribal with the abandonment of civil liberties in the Trump and then post Trump era (ie: censorship, making J6 an “insurrection”, J6 jailings, J6 investigations with dubious predication, the full compliment of DeepState Trump Russia collusion clusterfeckery … I could go on….)
People of all ideologies may hate Trump but it is telling how Trump brought out all the inner Nazi impulses in his enemies, particularly on the Left.
How many of our elected federal officials in Congress have stood before the people and admitted that this government is not now of, by, and for the people?
This is an overly simplistic way of viewing the issue of black-white competence. What do you mean when you assert that other people believe that “blacks can’t compete with whites”?
The social science on this issue is pretty clear, I think. The most important single predictor of positive life outcomes, statistically speaking, is IQ. The black IQ distribution is about a standard deviation below the white distribution, maybe a bit closer, though that’s not clear. I think that the best current estimate is about 12 IQ points, which is 80% of a standard deviation.
IQ is not determinative. Other things matter, too, but this doesn’t mean that IQ doesn’t matter.
I struggle to understand the reason that people find this difficult to understand. Take a basketball analogy. It’s an advantage to be taller in basketball, but it’s not the only characteristic of importance. If you had one group with an average height that was 3 inches shorter than another group, you’d expect the shorter group to produce fewer great basketball players. They would produce some, but fewer.
The same principle applies to intelligence. Intelligence is important, especially for complex jobs, which pay more because of supply and demand. Accordingly, we would expect the black income distribution to be lower than the white income distribution, and we’d expect disproportionately fewer blacks among those with high cognitive ability.
The Bell Curve demonstrated the importance of IQ as a predictor of more than economic success. IQ had significant explanatory power for issues such as crime and illegitimacy. Again, it is not the only factor of importance, but it is an important factor.
It turns out that IQ is highly heritable, with the estimates getting higher in recent decades. The older estimate, at the time of The Bell Curve in the mid-1990s, was 40-60%. Recent studies show heritability of about 70-80% in adulthood. There’s a great deal of evidence that the difference in the black-white IQ distributions is biological, probably genetic, though most people are in denial about this. There is a significant difference in average brain size, for example.
So if by “blacks can’t compete with whites” you mean that, in a cognitively demanding task, the whites will do disproportionately better than the blacks, this is empirically true. It doesn’t mean that every single white person will do better than every single black person.
Yeah, there was a reason, but I don’t think that it was racially motivated, if that is what you imply.
Like the other European powers of the time, the Italians wanted an empire. They had Libya, but other than Ethiopia and Liberia, the rest of Africa was held by other European powers. So Ethiopia (aka Abyssinia at the time) was a natural target. Liberia was pretty far away, and somewhat under US protection, I think.
And the “academic” left really loves Antonio Gramsci.