Monday, 21 August 2017

From the Archives: Yes, Virginia, the Nazis really were socialists

Originally posted here in 2005, this post is looking long overdue for a re-post...

I've noticed some bloggers and commentators around the traps still upset at claims the Nazis were socialist.

What’s that? Nazis?? Nazis were socialists?!! Well, yes they were.

It's true that the National Socialists didn't nationalise their economy's commanding heights on coming to power as Lenin would have had them do; they didn't nationalise them because they didn’t need to -- as Hitler said, they simply nationalised people instead. Political correctness at the point of a gun. The result for Hitler's Germany and in the end for most of Europe was the same as it was for Lenin's Russia. Destruction.

George Reisman makes the case for Nazism = Socialism in an article here, (which he also delivered as a lecture on video.)

De facto government ownership of the means of production... was logically implied by such fundamental collectivist principles embraced by the Nazis as that the common good comes before the private good and the individual exists as a means to the ends of the State. If the individual is a means to the ends of the State, so too, of course, is his property. Just as he is owned by the State, his property is also owned by the State.

The Mises Economics Blog describes Reisman's thesis thus:

Contrary to myth, Germany was a socialist state, not a capitalist one. And socialism, understood as an economic system based on government ownership of the means of production, positively requires a totalitarian dictatorship. Indeed, the identification of Nazi Germany as a socialist state was one of the many great contributions of Ludwig von Mises.

And as if your eyebrows aren't already heading for the ceiling, here's another claim of Reisman's that might get them there that is arguably even more important than the title thesis: "In the United States at the present time, we do not have socialism in any form. And we do not have a dictatorship, let alone a totalitarian dictatorship." Read on to find out what Reisman says about the present system in the US, and by implication the rest of the west: that we do not have a dictatorship, nor do we (yet) have Fascism. "Among the essential elements that are still lacking are one-party rule and censorship. We still have freedom of speech and press and free elections," he says...

FULL ARTICLE HERE And a video of Reisman’s original talk ...

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