oe, everytime we debate something, it seems like it ends up in an endless array of collections of points, with answering counter points, without ever reaching a conclusion or a central point. Here again, you avoid the heart of the question right off the bat, which is the question of left and right, and instead want to meander off into a myriad of points that are adjacent to the central point.
Because those points are important. You want me to identify where certain points (like the 25 points of the NSDAP party program) would fall on a spectrum. I would like to go through all the individual points and do just that, but I think we should agree on what kind of spectrum we talk about.
All of this merely obfuscates the question, and creates alot of complications out of something that can be simplified. This is not rocket science. Actually, Lone Voice is close to what I have been posting, which he has posted as follows. And actually, to repeat, why do you right off the bat totally dismiss the name of the party, which says it is socialist?
The name is "National Socialist", not "socialist". I've already given you a number of reasons why I think that only
looking at the "socialist" part of the name of the party and concluding from that that the Nazis were socialists is not a good idea. I'm not dismissing the discussion of where the NSDAP should be placed on an economical spectrum - I'm merely saying that there are better ways of reaching that conclusion. As you ask me this question again, though, I'll give you the main objections I have to jumping to conclusions by merely focusing on the name:
- The original name of the party was DAP. It was originally founded by members of the Thule society
which, in turn, was focused on the mythical origin of the Aryan race and on fighting Jews and Communism. When Hitler joined, it was a tiny nationalist party, with less than 55 members. In trying to make the party more attractive to a larger number of voters, he added the two adjectives "National" and "Socialist" - which are usually to be found on opposite sides of the spectrum - to the name of the party.
- The Nazis were rarely upfront when it came to naming core elements of their ideology for use in public. The terms they used referred to concepts that were entirely different from the conventional meaning. Umsiedlung
(emigration) or Evakuierung
(evacuation) stood for the deportation of Jews into concentration camps. Sonderbehandlung
(special treatment) stood for the killing of people. The term Desinfektion
(disinfection) referred to the gassing of people, and Endlösung
(final solution) or Lösung der Judenfrage
(solution of the Jewish question) to the meticulously planned genocide of the Jewish population.
- Totalitarian states and parties, no matter where to be found on the political spectrum, do not necessarily use names that reveal outright the ideology of the system they stand for. The official name of the Eastern German state was "German Democratic Republic". The constitution of the state of Texas says that the state is a democratic republic. Drawing the conclusion, merely going by the name, that Eastern Germany had the same political system or ideology as Texas would probably not be a good idea, though.
That's why I think that it's not very helpful to take one part
of the name of the NSDAP and draw the conclusion that Hitler was entirely honest and upfront when it came to naming the party, and that we can therefore claim that he was a socialist.
Why do you insist on using twisted reasoning to find a way to even deny the name,
Again, I'm not denying the name of the party. I'm merely arguing against focusing only on one part
of the name, and make more out of that than what's really there.
especially given the fact the 25 points of the party support the fact it is socialist or leftist?
That's what the discussion is about, right? I find it difficult to start the discussion when you present the conclusion right at the beginning. If that's what you want to argue, I have no problem with that, but I would ask you to try and start the discussion from a more objective point of view.
Lone Voice wrote:
Looking at the political spectrum from left to right, with socialist on the left and fascist on the right, isn't really accurate.
Instead, any form of government in total control of the state and the individual should be on the left; whether fascist, socialist, or an oligarchy, it should be on the far left of the scale.
Anarchy, of course, would be on the right.
Well, that's only focusing on the question of how authoritarian a particular regime is. I absolutely agree
that on the Authoritarianism <-> Individual Freedom spectrum, all fascist, socialist, Stalinist or Nazist dictatorships can be found on the one side of the spectrum, whereas on the other end you can find complete libertarianism and ultimately anarchy.
I'm fine with discussing the NSDAP party program within that context, if that's what you want to do.
I'll also point out that that ignores the question of which economical
system is favoured by a particular ideology. Let's, for example, focus on the libertarian/anarchist end of the Authoritarianism <-> Individual Freedom spectrum. In terms of personal freedom, this constitutes the exact opposite of Stalinism. Yet, in terms of economical ideology, you'll find identical ideas in anarchist and in Stalinist systems. I refer you to this article about libertarian and anarchist communism
Anarchist communism advocates the abolition of the state, private property and capitalism in favor of common ownership of the means of production, direct democracy and a horizontal network of voluntary associations, workers' councils and/or a gift economy through which everyone will be free to satisfy their needs.
According to anarchist communist Peter Kropotkin and later Murray Bookchin, the members of such a society would spontaneously perform all necessary labour because they would recognize the benefits of communal enterprise and mutual aid. Kropotkin believed that private property was one of the causes of oppression and exploitation and called for its abolition, advocating instead common ownership, except where property-like personal possessions are used for oneself.
So therefore the question is: if you move more towards libertarianism or anarchy, away from totalitarianism and authoritarian dictatorship - are you then moving to the left or to the right?
Regarding your objections that communities that voluntarily practice communism (as in: common ownership of the means of production) are usually smaller than nation states: I think the question is whether a society or a community that practices communism can exist without totalitarian measures. I think that any example of a group of people (of a certain size; let's say larger than a family) that practices communism voluntarily counters your claim that communism in a society can only exist if it's implemented using totalitarian measures. For other examples of communities that (used to) practice communism, I would also mention Christian communities and the anarchist governments in Spain
Racial purity I see as a vehicle to the end game, which is the common good. From my reading of the 25 points and in Hitler's Mein Kampf, as confusing as it is, I think Hitler blames racial impurities for causing the failures of what he perceives as economic and social injustice. So the racial purity was a vehicle to achieve his vision of utopia. But the utopian conditions themselves were the idealogical core of Nazism.
I would argue that it's the other way 'round. His vision of utopia was
racial purity. It was a racially pure, Aryan nation that dominated all the other nations. All racial impurities in the form of members of inferior races would have been eliminated from the Aryan race. Racial impurity, as you correctly describe it, was the root cause for the shortcomings of society. In Nazi ideology, it was not groups of society that fought each other (proletarians vs. capitalists), but rather races that competed with each other. Inferior races were too weak to fight against superior races openly, so they had to manipulate the system in order to reach their goals. This was particularly true for parasitical races that didn't even own their own state, but rather made a living by weakening a host nation. Jews would keep honest Aryans from what was rightfully theirs by subverting the economical system, by trying to monopolize the banks and using them to expropriate racially pure German citizens, and by conspiring with other Jews around the world. To strengthen the Aryan race and give Germans back what was rightfully theirs, the Jews therefore had to be eliminated.
All of this is important to determine the role of the state in Nazism relative to other ideologies.
So again, the utopian view of the world is the idealogical core of political systems like Communism, Fascism, or Nazism. And in Hitler's case, he blamed much of the problem in achieving his utopian vision on Jews, and their culture, which included the self interests of capitalism. Racial purity was part of his politics, a big part of it, but is was merely a leg of the stool, but not the stool itself.
I think we agree mostly in that regard. I do think that a utopian view of the world is at the core of Nazism, and I agree that Hitler blamed the Jews for keeping the German nation from achieving that utopia. However, I think that the racial ideology is the core of Nazism. All kinds of policies - social, economical, etc. - were instituted as a consequence of this ideology.
Anyway, I think most of what the Nazi Party stood for can be analyzed as a left vs right issue. I already did this with the 25 points.
I will definitely take a stab at the 25 points once we've established a framework of what left and right should stand for. If you want to use the Authoritarianism <-> Individual Freedom spectrum, I'm fine with that.