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Nazism wasn't left or right wing but syncretic. Yes or no?
in Politics

Adolf Hitler declared that Nazism was not a left or right wing movement, but a "syncretic" movement. What say you?
billpassedwalterbajoecavalry
  1. Was syncretic

    14 votes
    1. Agree
      57.14%
    2. Don't agree
      42.86%



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  • I definitely don't think that the Nazi's were built around a syncretic movement. Syncretism is defined as allowing different beliefs. I don't think that they allowed different beliefs in their territory. I don't think this because eventually, with the Holocaust beginning, the Nazi's cut Jews off and Jews weren't allowed in Nazi Germany at the time.
    billpassed
  • Nazis were built on racism and nationalism. They may not have had any affiliations with political parties. They were against Jews and believe that Germany was the best country globally possibly. That was bad and racist.
  • Adolf Hitler may have issued the statement in order to get Germany to back him up. Keep in mind, Hitler wanted as much support as possible so that when he did something for Germany, his citizens and himself could be recognized for it. That being said, I would agree with what Nazism is being described above, but also that Nazism was independent from any American politics, so it is hard to correlate Hitlers policies with typical American political policies.
    A good debate is not judged by bias, but in the context of the debate, where objectivity is key and rationale prevalent. 


  • Adolf Hitler, Germany, and the Nazis may not have had any political party. They had fundamentally racist beliefs.
    EmeryPearson
  • FascismFascism 332 Pts
    When Hitler said his movement was syncretic, he didn't mean that it allowed different cultures and ideas to mix and mingle. He meant it as simply a movement with left-wing and right-wing values together. 

    Right-wing values in Nazism:
    Nationalism
         Nativism
         Racism
         Cultural preservation
    Patriarchy
    Corporatism
    Private Property

    Left-wing values:
    No freedom of speech
    Command economy
    Heavy business regulation
    Collectivism

    It is a common misunderstanding that fascism is right-wing. Fascism can be right wing or left wing, although in history it was usually moderate like Nazism or right wing. 
    EmeryPearsonDrCereal
  • Nazis are not good, but I don’t belive that they are associated with a political party.
    EmeryPearson
    DebateIslander and a DebateIsland.com lover. 
  • VaulkVaulk 567 Pts
    If the question is regarding what the Left and Right represents today...then the Left is most like the Nazi party.  Nazi stood for National Socialist German Worker's Party.  Which of the two political polarities would you consider to be the closest to Socialism?  Ever heard of Bernie Sanders?
    EmeryPearsonDrCereal
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • FascismFascism 332 Pts
    @Vaulk Which of the two political parties is closest to nationalism? 
    EmeryPearson
  • AmpersandAmpersand 471 Pts
    edited March 17
    Left Wing and Right Wing are themselves very broad terms which try and simplify complex political ideas - with there being no agreement as to what constitutes left-wing and right-wing. For instance I'd classify no freedom of speech as typically right-wing and a command economy as arguably neither as it crops up in such a variety of economies historically (although again the exact metric a economy becomes a command economy is also arbitrary).

    The main takeaway should be that fascism is awful regardless of whether you view it as left-wing or right-wing.
    BaconToes
  • EmeryPearsonEmeryPearson 122 Pts
    edited March 27
    Economically? Right of center.
    In Governance? Extreme far right.

    People get hung up on the economics, because factually, the Nazi party were far more center in respects to economic policy than people realize. But, they were extremely right on basically everything else.
    PogueBaconToes
  • Nazism promoted in opposititon to the 'left':

    Wealth Stratification.
    Social Stratification.
    Racial Stratification.
    Wealth Consolidation.
    Private Businesses.
    Private Property.
    Anti-Globalization.
    Wage Labor.
    Traditional Female Roles.
    Social Darwinism.
    Racial Purity.
    Anti-Union.
    State use of Religion.

    Just to name a few. 
    PogueBaconToes
  • In general, right wing is characterized by a free market economy, while left wing is characterized by state-planned economy. National socialism encompassed both, in a certain proportion, essentially dividing the economy into two sectors: a large private sector, and somewhat smaller public sector. The private sector was pretty heavily controlled and regulated, but overall there was a resemblance of a semi-free market. The public sector, on the other hand, was the regular autocratic machine, with all the resources funneled into the priority projects based around militarism and technological/scientific experimentation with no regards to human rights.

    So I would say that Nazism was somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Mussolini's Fascism was quite a bit to the right, as he essentially sought to transform the public sector into the dominant corporation existing on the same semi-free market as private companies.
  • The naziis were national SOCIALISTS. In mein kampt, hitler called on German citizens to adhere to socialist altruism. They denied individualism and declared that individuals only true purpose was to Germany and not themselves. joseph goebbels made it no secret that he could quote Marxist writings with ease and his only gripe with communism was that its collectivism was only focused on economics. National socialism was focused on every aspect of life. Basically, naziis thought communism wasn't communist enough. The idea of "genetic health" was not created by the naziis, the American progressive movement was babbling about that fifty years earlier. Don't let these nazi sympathizers fool you into thinking the naziis were conservative in any manner. They set the bar for radicalized, left wing banter. The nazi party was not created in opposition to communism, it was created in opposition to American liberty. You can't get more left wing than the naziis. 
  • @piloteer

    The party actually expelled the far-left branch of it around 1935, as Hitler both was afraid they were agents of communism, and did not like their advocacy for heavily-centralized economy.

    You are making a common mistake, equating "socialism" with "left", and "conservatism" with "right". These terms are not even on the same axis, let alone equal. In fact, there are far-left conservatives (communists in Russia, for example) and far-right socialists (those anarchists who see anarchism as a liberation of the society from any control by any entity, but see it still maintaining a very strong sense and culture of community).

    "Left" and "right" refer, in general, to the invasiveness of the government into the lives of private individuals. "Socialism" is more of a societal organization, and conservatism is the tendency to oppose quick change of the long-term status-quo. One could even argue that socialism taken to the extreme is legally the same as libertarianism taken to the extreme, only with a different societal culture - and I do not think many would call libertarianism "left".  ;)
  • @ MayCaeser

    The "rigt wing" of the American congress is where the republicans sit, as opposed to the "left wing" of congress, where the democrats sit. The republicans adhere to a policy of conservatism (until recently when they elected a socialist reality tv star). "Conservatism" is supposed to mean, a policy of conserving the stringent doctrine of the constitution without translation. So conservatism is directly associated with the "right wing". Progressivism is the idea that the constitution is a living document that can be interpreted differently to mean different things as time progresses. Progressivism is directly linked to the "left wing". 

    Communism as a political science was inspired by the progressive movement. Just like progressives, communists believe it is the responsibility of the government to "protect" its citizens. They believe in protecting people financially and in matters of health. They believe in a doctrine of collective health. Communism, socialism, and progressivism are directly linked to the "left wing". So no, I'm not making a common "mistake" when I associate communism with the left wing. 

    Libertarianism means two different things. The European form of libertarianism was born of socialism. European libertarians believe in individual liberty, but just like socialists, they don't believe in private property. That's where European libertarians differ from American libertarians. American libertarianism was not born from socialism and is opposed to it in every manner possible. American libertarians believe in private property and economic freedom, even if that economic freedom means freedom to fail. I do agree that their are progressive elements to American libertarianism and conservative elements, but neither faction would be sympathetic to socialism in any way, shape, or form.

    The "Rohm purge" which you speak of (actually took place in 1934) was an action taken by the naziis to kill off members of the SA, the naziis paramilitary wing. hitler accused them of planning a coup on him,  but never accused them of being "far left", and even if he did accuse them of that, it wasn't actually true because the SA, or "brownshirts" were not inherently political. hitler purged this faction of the nazi party to solidify his power over the naziis. During the Rohm purge, right wing politicians were also murdered. ernst rohm was the leader of the SA, and was calling for a nazi revolution in the German military, but hitler didn't want to make enemies with German military. ernst rohm was also a known homosexual and hitler didn't like the image of thuggish bullies ernst rohm was giving the naziis. That was the real reason for the purge, not because they were "far leftist". 
  • Fascism said:
    When Hitler said his movement was syncretic, he didn't mean that it allowed different cultures and ideas to mix and mingle. He meant it as simply a movement with left-wing and right-wing values together. 

    Right-wing values in Nazism:
    Nationalism
         Nativism
         Racism
         Cultural preservation
    Patriarchy
    Corporatism
    Private Property

    Left-wing values:
    No freedom of speech
    Command economy
    Heavy business regulation
    Collectivism

    It is a common misunderstanding that fascism is right-wing. Fascism can be right wing or left wing, although in history it was usually moderate like Nazism or right wing. 
    If we are talking about the actual "left" and "right" wings of the political spectrum, then "Nationalism", "Patriarchy", and "No freedom of speech" are not ideals that would necessarily fall under either wing specifically.
    You can have nationalist leftists, and you can have right wingers who believe in censorship.
    Bis das, si cito das.
  • @piloteer

    Mainstream political discussions tend to redefine terms, as various groups stick what they see as derogatory labels on each other and get used to see those groups as equating these labels. The US defines various political terms differently from, say, the UK, which, in turn, defines it differently from China, and so on. The only way to have any resemblance of an actual political discussion is to stick to the terms in their original meaning, which can often be deducted from their construction.
    • Conservatism (from "to conserve" - to preserve, to maintain in a constant state) = resisting change.
    • Progressivism (from "to progress" - to evolve, to improve, to have built upon) = promoting change.
    • Liberalism (from "liberty" - individual freedom, state of being uncontrolled) = supporting individual freedoms and liberties.
    • Libertarianism (same as above) = a more extreme version of liberalism.
    • Socialism (from "society" - a group of people, a collective) = collective-focused approach to societal building.
    • Communism (from "commune" - same as above) = a more extreme version of socialism.
    • Statism (from "state" - political formation) = reliance on state involvement in certain aspects of the societal/economical functioning.
    "Left/right" refer to the economical axis that defines the governmental involvement in the functioning of the market:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left%E2%80%93right_political_spectrum#History_of_the_terms

    "Left wing / right wing" have the word "wing" added to the above, implying that the political forces in the government are generally split into two groups, based on where they are on the economical axis. In the US, the Republican party is considered "right wing", and the Democratic party is considered "left wing", because Democrats are heavy on statism and advocate for strongly controlled market, while Republicans advocate for a small state system and free unrestricted market.

    ---

    In addition, it is unreasonable to define the leaning of a certain regime based on it self-imposed image. For example, North Korea calls itself "Democratic People's Republic of Korea", but it would be unreasonable to put it on the liberal side of the liberal/authoritarian axis, because how it functions differs strongly from what image it tries to promote.

    "National socialism" has the word "socialism" in it, but it does not mean anything, and the realities of the particular system should be considered. Reich's system had both a relatively free market sector, and a heavily controlled public sector, both amounting to significant economical shares. One could argue that the social totalitarian aspect of that system makes it "left", because it is pretty much a logical continuation of statism - and I am inclined to somewhat agree with it. However, no, they did not think that "communism wasn't communist enough"; they thought the exact opposite. Their system was based on Mussolini's Fascism, not on Soviet's Socialism, and Mussolini's system was very heavy on supporting private sector. Reich respected people's private property for the most part (unless we are talking about one of the heavily discriminated groups), while Soviet Socialism did not.

    This actually makes me value Hitler's and Mussolini's systems higher than Lenin's and Mao's. In my opinion, the temporary success of the German and, less so, Italian economy is a testament to what capitalism can do in a short period of time, even when coexisting with such a vast socialist sector. Calling these systems "left" does injustice to capitalism and suggests the wrong connection between rapid economical growth and left-leaning economics - while in reality those systems grew despite the left-leaning sectors, and not because of them. What left-leaning sectors do to the economy when a right-leaning sector is not supplied to fund the social projects, is very well shown on such historical examples as Soviet Union, People's Republic of China, Democratic Kampuchea or Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It leads to nothing but mass starvation and extreme poverty.

    This is also, in my opinion, why people are incredibly wrong calling modern European "welfare states" "socialist". The reason they can afford such enormous social spending is because they have heavily supported free markets (in some aspects, freer than the US market) generating wealth. It is capitalism that makes those states prosper, not socialism. Not to mention that heavy social spending in itself has little to do with socialism, it is just one way to invest the capitalist profit. Socialism refers to public means of generating wealth, and that always ends up in a disaster for pretty obvious reasons.
    DrCerealpiloteer
  • MayCaeser 

    It would seem that we have gotten to the meat and potatoes of this discussion. Your claim that the socialist word in the "national socialist" party name "does not mean anything" is short sighted and categoricaly false! The naziis were most certainly socialists. 14 of the 25 point nazi party program that the naziis used to layout the philosophical framework of the national socialists party specifically calls for economically socialist laws to be imposed. They use the word socialism specifically. They use the word socialism in response to what they considered to be the "evils of western capitalism". Point 13 of the nazi party program called for the nationalisation of all German corporations. Point 14 called for profit sharing of all large industrialized corporations. Point 16 called for socialization of all German department stores. In 1921, the naziis tried to negotiate a merger with the German socialists party. In a speech hitler made in 1927, he said "We are socialists. We are enemies of todays capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak." "We are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions". A joseph goebbels quote that almost seems to come straight out of the communist manifesto says "the worker in a capitalistic state, and that is his deepest misfortune. He is no longer a living human being, a creator, a maker. He has become a machine. A number. A cog in a machine". It is very difficult for MayCaeser to make the case that the socialist word in the national socialist party name "does not mean anything" given the facts I stated above. The national socialists party of German workers were openly and proudly socialist.

    If a government seizes control of every privately owned business, I fail to see how that would make them "supportive of the private sector". I fail to see how that makes them capitalistic in any manner. The naziis enslaved huge portions of the German population, this is what gave them that "initial success" that you speak of. That policy most certainly led to mass starvation the same way communist China, Korea, and Cambodia had mass starvation. Once their supply of cheap labor ran out, they would either have needed to enslave others to continue that "success", or they would have failed like the rest. You can split hairs until they turn to juice if you'd like, but you can't convince me and any logical minded political scientist that socialism is vastly different from communism. Socialism and communism are both collectivist political and economic sciences. That puts them in direct opposition to capitalism which is an individualistic economic science. There is no such thing as an economic system that infuses socialism with capitalism. As soon as you introduce socialist or communist policies, it is no longer an individualistic economy, it is a collectivism. The United States does not have a capitalistic system, we are a socialist society. We used to be capitalists, but progressive political thought has sadly reigned supreme. This is going to be where I draw the line in the sand. There are only two types of societies, collectivist societies and individualistic societies. Those two political philosophies are directly opposed to each other.

    The naziis were a collectivist political party. That put them in direct opposition to individualistic capitalism. The 25 point nazi party program specifically uses the term altruism. The naziis didn't consider individuals to have the right to their own happiness. They considered the happiness of the collective to be more important than individual happiness. Point 10 of the nazi party program says that individuals must work for the German people and not expect to profit from their work. Point 24 emphasizes their comitment to collectivism when it called for individuals to exist "for the good of the community before the good of themselves". The naziis were in direct opposition to individualistic liberty. The nazi party was a reaction to the ideals of western liberty, free market enterprise, and individualistic freedom. The naziis existed for the sole purpose of defying western liberty, not communism. Communism is a collectivist political philosophy just the same as socialism. The naziis considered the victors of WW1 to be greedy and decadent. The naziis chose specifically to be enemies of American liberty and capitalism. 

    Try as you might to claim that "right wing" vs "left wing" politics are relative terms that mean different things to different people, there is nobody who would put socialism on the right of the political spectrum. Socialism is most certainly identified as a left-wing political view. The naziis were socialists, therefore they were far leftists. 



    DrCereal
  • @piloteer

    My point was that something being called something does not make it that something - this is the context in which I claimed that the "socialist" word did not mean anything. Whether a system is a socialist is defined by the actual policies it implements, not by what it calls itself and what its members call its economical system. And yes, Nazi Germany was almost certainly socialist - however, as with any other political term, there are various gradations of socialism that can exist, and every system can also be segmented into more and less socialist parts. Was Germany more socialist than, say, the US or the UK? Certainly. It was also quite a bit more socialist than Fascist Italy. But conversely, Soviet Union, was much more socialist than Germany. 

    I suppose it all comes down to your personal calibration of various gradations of various terms. There are not just "individualist" and "collectivist" societies; there are various proportions of these. A perfectly collectivist society would be a hive mind species, where every individual member is a physical part of the greater organism, and individual thought and behavior do not exist. A perfectly individualist society is T-Rexes with no "family" members left, who walk around and attack everything in their way for food. Almost every realistic society will be somewhere in between. The UK is more collectivist than the US; Japan is more collectivist than the UK; North Korea is more collectivist than Japan. Collectivism also is not just characterized by laws themselves; it is also affected by the societal culture. Japan on paper has very capitalistic and individualistic laws; in practice, collectives hold an incredible amount of power in the society due to an unwritten consent on a vertical hierarchy within the society, and an individual person that is not a part of a collective is very unlikely to get anywhere economy-wise.
    Individualist societies also can have very collectivist sub-groups, and vise-versa. Individualistic Switzerland has entire networks of churches, uniting people under a very collectivist banner of organized Catholicism; collectivistic China has individual dissidents who wage a silent war against the tyranny.

    What is "center" for you? What is to the left of it, what is to the right? I am a libertarian, and I only grow more and more libertarian by the day, so to me even existence of taxes is already too far to the left. However, I certainly do not represent the average person in the world discussing politics. Hitler was not that far to the left from the average person's point of view, while almost everybody will agree that Stalin or Mao were too far to the left to anyone's taste.
  • MayCaeser 

    What you're saying is not untrue, but in the context of this discussion it isn't very convincing. There are some undeniable truths that can't be ignored here. 
    1) Socialism is categorized as a left-wing political view.
    2) The naziis were socialists.
    3) If the naziis were socialists, and socialism is a far left political view, then we can only come        to one obvious conclusion. The naziis were far a far left-wing political party.

    This doesn't mean I believe that American democrats are naziis, or are somehow associated with the kamere rouge, but just because the terms "left wing vs "right wing" are relative terms, that doesn't make them irrelevant. They are still useful. But, you are correct on one thing. hitler may have claimed that the naziis were syncretic, but that doesn't mean they actually were. 
    DrCereal
  • piloteer said:
    MayCaeser 

    What you're saying is not untrue, but in the context of this discussion it isn't very convincing. There are some undeniable truths that can't be ignored here. 
    1) Socialism is categorized as a left-wing political view.
    2) The naziis were socialists.
    3) If the naziis were socialists, and socialism is a far left political view, then we can only come        to one obvious conclusion. The naziis were far a far left-wing political party.

    This doesn't mean I believe that American democrats are naziis, or are somehow associated with the kamere rouge, but just because the terms "left wing vs "right wing" are relative terms, that doesn't make them irrelevant. They are still useful. But, you are correct on one thing. hitler may have claimed that the naziis were syncretic, but that doesn't mean they actually were. 
    Point 2 is incorrect - it's like saying "North Korea is Democratic". Having something in the name doesn't make it true.

    Socialism and Communism were very popular in Germany in the 20's and 30's and Hitler positioned the Nazis as a new form of socialist party to draw on public support for these ideologies without any intent to actually follow through. Once in power he specifically targeted socialists and communists in a pogrom and they were some of the first victims of the concentration camps when they weren't just outright murdered, such as in the night of Long Knives which he used to have Nazis who actually believed in socialism executed and killed.
    DrCereal
  • Depends how you define the wings. Nazism can be described as authoritarian; the Germans wanted something like that, and were opposed to communism, which can be viewed as liberal. Basically, Nazis supported private enterprise, public school, welfare, gun control, abortion and birth control, patriotism, and other things. They were obviously racist, and they were completely narrow-minded, so they could not have been syncretic. They were highly authoritarian, highly statist. Their main goal was white supremacy, every other specific policy was just a way to get there, rather than a value in itself. 
  • The Nazis were consistent atheistic leftists.  Period.  You will find little they advocated that the modern left does not.
  • Ampersand

    MayCaeser already tried using that same argument. If I may direct your attention to the argument I made before the one you sampled, you may find some persuasive arguments as to how the naziis were indeed a socialist party. The naziis did seize control of all privately owned German businesses, and when Germany began military actions, the naziis forced all privately owned businesses to work for and fund the war effort.
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