Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Guardian has recently republished a series of interviews its reporters have done during the twentieth century; one of them was with Hitler in 1923. It makes for some interesting reading.
"Why," I asked Hitler, "do you call yourself a National Socialist, since your party programme is the very antithesis of that commonly accredited to socialism?"

"Socialism," he retorted, putting down his cup of tea, pugnaciously, "is the science of dealing with the common weal. Communism is not Socialism. Marxism is not Socialism. The Marxians have stolen the term and confused its meaning. I shall take Socialism away from the Socialists.

"Socialism is an ancient Aryan, Germanic institution. Our German ancestors held certain lands in common. They cultivated the idea of the common weal. Marxism has no right to disguise itself as socialism. Socialism, unlike Marxism, does not repudiate private property. Unlike Marxism, it involves no negation of personality, and unlike Marxism, it is patriotic.
Although socialism meant something quite unique to Hitler, conservatives these days sometimes argue that Nazi party was left-wing, since, after all, it was the National Socialist party. I've seen this argument on tv talk shows at least a few times - and its not too hard to find it online:
A Little Secret About the Nazis...They were left-wing socialists. Yes, the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany, otherwise known as the Nazi Party, was indeed socialist, and it had a lot in common with the modern left...

The Nazis are widely known as nationalists, but that label is often used to obscure the fact that they were also socialists. Some question whether Hitler himself actually believed in socialism, but that is no more relevant than whether Stalin was a true believer. The fact is that neither could have come to power without at least posing as a socialist.


At 10:18 AM, Blogger bza said...

Damn Hitler! He ruined so many things, including the tainting of socialism. My friend just returned from Germany and saw all the national socialist references and thought thats what my commitment to socialism was all about. Arghh.....


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