Nazis weren’t economic moderates or mixed-economy; they favored autarky – that’s autarky with a k, not a c-h – this means economic independence and self-sufficiency for the nation. It involves protectionist measures to benefit domestic industry; with workers working, for wages, for firms that operate on a for-profit basis. And it features limited privatization of state industries (that is, the selling-off of state resources to private owners in-name, while the state retains control over it), and a heavy role for state and its interference. Sound familiar?
Marxists don’t exactly "support the state"; certainly not the way it is currently structured. On the contrary; just like political libertarians do, Marxists see the state as a temporary tool to achieve a better state of affairs. The question, for revolutionary purity’s sake, is how long that should take, and which ideology has the better track record of dissolving the state the fastest after they have gotten a hold of it.
Socialists don’t support welfarism, they support socialism; the freedom of workers to keep what they make and earn, so that they never need to go on welfare, or establish a welfare state. It’s neoliberals who want a welfare state, while the progressives (who often depend on it) feel conflicted, and know something about it isn’t working right.
Nazism and socialism are both forms of collectivism, but they’re collectivist in different ways. Nazis believe that the collective, and society, are best embodied in the nation, the state, and the segment of society with the right ethnicity and the superior blood and genetics. Socialists see the collective, and society, as the totality of peoples and lands of the world. Marx said “workers of the world, unite”, not “pure-blooded workers of the greater German-speaking realm, unite!”. The Communist Manifesto calls for anarcho-communism through cooperation across borders and nations; a society without states, class divisions, nor currency.
For counterpoints to the arguments I have presented here, please read George Rausman's November 2005 essay "Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian":
or watch the 2016 video "The Nazis Have Socialist Roots", featuring Andrew Klavan and Bill Whittle:
and to learn more about my views on the relationship between neoliberal democracy and Nazism, read my January 2011 article "Obama and Hitler: Compare and Contrast":
Incidentally, the purported Hitler quote in the above image is actually attributable to Joseph Goebbels. But if you keep claiming that Hitler said it, and repeat that lie over and over again, then eventually people will believe it.
Post-Script by the Author, October 10th, 2017:
Since the main body of the text include quotations by Joseph Goebbels and Gregor Strasser that were misattributed to Adolf Hitler, I find it necessary and helpful to include in this post-script some of the man's (Hitler's) own words on the matter.
In a 1923 interview with George Sylvester Viereck of The Economist - edited and republished in Liberty magazine in 1932, and The Guardian in 2007 - Hitler made the following comments on socialism, communism, and National Socialism:
Although some may be prepared to take these comments as proof that Hitler was a socialist; this is not so. What we call socialism today may or may not necessarily correspond or overlap with, the primitive form of communism which Hitler described (which, as Hitler points out, does not advocate the abolition of private property). This should make Marxism and National Socialism distinct enough.
In case I've still failed to make my case persuasively, I feel that the singular Hitler quotation "I shall take Socialism away from the Socialists" should more than sufficiently demonstrate that his plan was to distort and twist the ideals of the day's popular German Marxism, and rebrand it as a fascist, corporatist ideology, supporting racist ultranationalism and opposing internationalism, creating a parody of workerist socialism, which ironically allows for the joint exploitation of workers by the representatives of state and capital.
This is not to say, however, that none of those accusations can be leveled at Lenin and Stalin; many can. But debating the merits of Bolshevism vs. Nazism is not the primary focus of this article.
Post-Script by the Author, October 22nd, 2017:
In case there is any lingering doubt left as to whether Hitler and the Nazis were socialists, Hitler's own words from Mein Kampf (although the book's authorship has been disputed) should suffice as an additional example of Hitler's own words demonstrating an intent to "take socialism away from the socialists":
"Yes, how often did they not turn up in huge numbers, those supporters of the Red Flag, all previously instructed to smash up everything once and for all and put an end to these meetings. More often than not everything hung on a mere thread, and only the chairman's ruthless determination and the rough handling by our ushers baffled our adversaries' intentions. And indeed they had every reason for being irritated.
The fact that we had chosen red as the colour for our posters sufficed to attract them to our meetings. The ordinary bourgeoisie were very shocked to see that, we had also chosen the symbolic red of Bolshevism and they regarded this as something ambiguously significant. The suspicion was whispered in German Nationalist circles that we also were merely another variety of Marxism, perhaps even Marxists suitably disguised, or better still, Socialists. The actual difference between Socialism and Marxism still remains a mystery to these people up to this day. The charge of Marxism was conclusively proved when it was discovered that at our meetings we deliberately substituted the words 'Fellow-countrymen and Women' for 'Ladies and Gentlemen' and addressed each other as 'Party Comrade'. We used to roar with laughter at these silly faint-hearted bourgeoisie and their efforts to puzzle out our origin, our intentions and our aims.
We chose red for our posters after particular and careful deliberation, our intention being to irritate the Left, so as to arouse their attention and tempt them to come to our meetings – if only in order to break them up – so that in this way we got a chance of talking to the people."
For first-hand information on Nazi ideology, read the Nazi Party's original 25-point platform at:
For a counter-point to the views presented here, read George Reisman's 2005 article "Why Nazism Was Socialism, and Why Socialism is Totalitarian", for the Von Mises Institute:
For another counter-point, read David Gordon's 2009 article "Nazi Economic Policy" for the Von Mises Institute:
Edited on September 30th, and October 4th, 10th, and 14th, 2017
Post-Scripts Written on October 10th and 22nd, 2017
Bottom Two Images Added on December 2nd, 2017