What is National Socialism? National Socialism.
Whoa? Wait a second. WHAT?
Yeah. Let me explain.
According to Marxists, modern society is capitalist.
And communism is the goal. Socialism is what
happens on the way to communism. (Yes, I’m
being super simple here, but this is
the basic gist.) For Hitler, socialism was
the goal, rather than the transition period.
So, yeah Hitler was actually moving towards
Communism. I’m just going to let that sink
in for a second. And in reality, the Soviets
never reached true communism, so they were
socialist as well. So when you look at the
history of the Second World War, and the Axis-Soviet
Front, you have to realise that this is two
socialist states going at each other. And
this seems to be one of the biggest and most
fundamental misunderstandings people have
about the Second World War. They think it’s
the Far-Right vs the Far-Left war.
But is this really the case? Well, actually
no. It’s actually quite difficult to tell
the difference between National Socialism
and Soviet Socialism, because they’re both
socialist states with authoritarian leaders.
And this is, in fact, a historical debate.
Were these two states the same or not? And, well this isn’t as crazy as it sounds when you realise that
Marxist socialism is but one variant of socialism.
Because Socialism is a spectrum in itself.
“Hitler was as much a socialist as Marx.
They both shared the same ultimate goal – the
socialisation of the people into a harmonious
community free of exploitation – but they
differed significantly in the methods required
to achieve it.”
The origins of National Socialism lie in the
pre-Hitler German Workers Party. People like
Rudolf Jung, Karl Harrer and Anton Drexler
defined what National Socialism was. Hitler
wasn’t the guy who invented it – he just
sold it to the masses. The Munich version
of the German Workers Party was founded on
the 5th of January 1919 by Drexler and Harrer.
Even at this point, the name of the party
was up for debate. Drexler argued that the
word ‘socialist’ would show solidarity
with the working class and keep ties with
the other German National Socialist parties
in other states. On the other hand, Harrer
argued that the word ‘socialist’ shouldn’t
be part of the title because, by not having
it in the title, this would reduce middle-class
hostility towards the party. And without the
word ‘socialist’ in the title, they could
present the case that they were advocating
social welfare, rather than social equality.
But the reality was, they were doing the latter.
Once Hitler became the leader, on the 24th
of February 1920, the German Workers’ Party
was renamed. It became the National Socialist
German Workers’ Party. Yes, the word ‘socialist’
was added back into the title by Hitler himself.
The new Nazi flag – the black swastika in
a white circle, inside a red field – was created by him
as well. In essence, this was a red socialist
flag, a white nationalist flag, and a pro-Aryan
and anti-Semitic flag inside it. But this
was both socialist, nationalist and racist.
“We National Socialists regarded our flag
as being the embodiment of our party programme.
The red expressed the social thought underlying
the movement. White the national thought.
And the swastika signified the mission allotted
to us – the struggle for the victory of Aryan
mankind and at the same time the triumph of
the ideal of creative work which is in itself
and always will be anti-Semitic.”
Also on this same night that the party was
refounded came the Twenty-Five Points – the
only published National Socialist German Workers’
Party manifesto. Points 1 to 3 demand national
unity for all Germans. Points 4 to 8 were
directed against the Jews and recent immigrants.
And Points 9 to 21 (almost half of the points)
were socialist in content. These aimed to
bring about social welfare, nationalisation
of industry, land reforms and so on. And Hitler
had his hand in all of these points.
When Hitler came into power, the government
got rid of trade unions, but replaced them
with the “German Labour Front”, a state
owned body which promoted cleaner working
environments, better canteen food, factory
renovations and social security for the unemployed.
This was socialism. Similarly, the Party’s
“Strength Through Joy” or KdF policy saw
state-subsidized holidays for all social classes.
Cruises, activities, and excursions – all
were popular with the people. And this is
the point – when you hear people say that
the Nazis did good things prior to the war,
they’re talking about these socialist policies.
Why? Because this was a redistribution of
wealth which benefits the working classes.
“Hitler wanted an economy that he could
“control without owning”, thereby removing
the need to annihilate the entrepreneurial
classes within a civil war, as the Bolsheviks
had done. He regarded Marx and Lenin as having
had the right outcomes in mind but they had
gone about the project in the wrong way.”
When the Munich Putsch failed in November
of 1923, the National Socialist German Workers
Party basically disappeared. Hitler then wrote
Mein Kampf inside Landsberg prison. And did
you know that Mein Kampf is a best-seller
in the United States… on the Kindle?
Just wanted to point that out. But it’s also
available online for free. So everyone can
get a copy of this book and take a look, assuming
you haven’t got a copy already. But my question
to all of you who have a copy of this book
– have you actually read it? And did these
guys actually read it as well? The answer is probably,
no. Why? Because it’s terrible – and I’m
not just talking about the racism and whatnot
(which is just awful); I’m talking about
the writing itself. It rambles on and on,
going over the same points several times,
and is probably one of the worst written books
of all time. It’s like a cross between Shakespeare,
Dickens and Tolkien – the gibberish just goes
on and on, talking about the same stuff,
over and over, that’s not important,
and leaves the reader wondering
why they bothered reading in the first place.
But I’ll come back to the rambling later. The
point I want to bring up now is the definition
of National Socialism by Hitler himself – which
he defines throughout the book. So, don your
monocles and prepare to read, from sie Führer.
“The readiness to sacrifice one’s personal
work and, if necessary, even one’s life
for others shows its most highly developed
form in the Aryan race. The greatness of the
Aryan is not based on his intellectual powers,
but rather on his willingness to devote all
his faculties to the service of the community.”
National Socialism is a community where Aryans
help each other. The Aryan lives for the state,
and self-preservation gives way to the community,
and the greater race.
“The spirit underlying this attitude is
expressed by the word: WORK, which to him
does not at all signify a means of earning
one’s daily livelihood but rather a productive
activity which cannot clash with the interests
of the community.”
“For the work which the individual performs
is not the purpose of his existence, but only
a means. His real purpose in life is to better
himself and raise himself to a higher level
as a human being; but this he can only do
in and through the community whose cultural
life he shares.”
National Socialism allows people to earn a
living, but they’re all working towards
a higher cause – the race. And the community,
and the race and the state, come first. Therefore,
National Socialism is absolutely not capitalism.
It’s more like a bee-hive. Individuals,
and even businesses, are working to produce
honey for the Leader, so that the race as
a whole may survive. They don’t like foreigners,
and there can only be one Queen-bee. And if
you rebel, or if your business doesn’t fit
the mold, the Leader (the State) can get rid
of you – for the good of the greater Aryan
So let’s talk about this Aryan business.
Hitler says animals breed with their own species.
Cross breeding is not allowed in the animal
kingdom, and when it happens the offspring
is sterile. Because the stronger must dominate
the weak, there is a natural urge for there
not to be any mixing of breeds. Therefore
a superior race should not intermingle with
an inferior one. And this is when he starts
talking about the Jews.
“With the Jewish people the readiness for
sacrifice does not extend beyond the simple
instinct of individual preservation.”
“Jews act in concord only when a common
danger threatens them or a common prey attracts
them. Where these two motives no longer exist
then the most brutal egotism appears and these
people who before had lived together in unity
will turn into a swarm of rats that bitterly
fight against each other.” …apparently.
And he just goes on and on about the Jews.
“If the Jews were the only people in the
world they would be wallowing in filth and
mire and would exploit one another and try
to exterminate one another in a bitter struggle…”
The irony of this statement being that Hitler
would later go on to exploit and exterminate
the Jews themselves, as well as other races.
Yeah, the whole book is filled with this prejudice.
So, in Hitler’s mind, the Jews don’t work
towards the Aryan German state because they
don’t care about the national community.
In his eyes, they are vermin, and he goes
on to call them parasites. Therefore they’re
bad for the Aryan hive, and must be eliminated.
“At the beginning of the [First World] War,
or even during the War, if twelve or fifteen
thousand of these Jews who were corrupting
the nation had been forced to submit to poison-gas,
just as hundreds of thousands of our best
German workers from every social stratum and
from every trade and calling had to face it
in the field, then millions of sacrifices
made at the front would not have been in vain.
On the contrary: If twelve thousand of these
malefactors had been eliminated in proper
time probably the lives of a million decent
men, who would be of value to Germany in the
future, might have been saved.”
Hitler is saying, if they’d killed a bunch
of Jews in the first world war, they would
have saved many good honest German lives… somehow. So you can see his logic going into the Second
World War. He also says the Jews invented
communism – which they didn’t, but the important
point is that he thinks they did. And this
is the point where he tries to separate his
socialism from their socialism. And he does
this by race. If you’re part of the Aryan
race, you can be a citizen of the socialist state that
he’s going to create.
“The People’s State will classify its population
in three groups: Citizens, subjects of the
State, and aliens.”
“The rights of citizenship shall be conferred
on every young man whose health and character
have been certified as good, after having
completed his period of military service.”
“On the occasion of conferring a diploma
of citizenship the new citizen must take a
solemn oath of loyalty to the national community
and the State.”
The bees get the benefit of having the honey,
and the protection of the state. But only
if they’re bees of this state. Foreign bees
– or other parasites – are not allowed.
“The racial Weltanschauung is fundamentally
distinguished from the Marxist by reason of
the fact that the former recognizes the significance
of race and therefore also personal worth
and has made these the pillars of its structure.”
This is it! Hitler has spelt it out.
What differentiates National Socialism from
other Marxisms is race. It is socialism, but
only for the Aryan.
“If the National Socialist Movement should
fail to understand the fundamental importance
of this essential principle, if it should
merely varnish the external appearance of
the present State and adopt the majority principle,
it would really do nothing more than compete
with Marxism on its own ground. For that reason
it would not have the right to call itself
a Weltanschauung. If the social programme
of the movement consisted in eliminating personality
and putting the multitude in its place, then
National Socialism would be corrupted with
the poison of Marxism, just as our national-bourgeois
The difference between Marxism and Nazism
is the race – individual Aryan bees working
towards the hive. Not all are equal in this
type of bee-socialism – there are individual
bees who are better than others – but they
do have an equal chance to climb the ladder.
And individual bees do have rights, and businesses,
but the state can intervene in those rights,
and dictate what your businesses can and can’t
do, for the benefit of the greater Aryan bee.
Yeah, this really is a socialist state. But
access to this state is based on race, not
class. The Marxist ‘classless society’
ideal was redefined as a ‘national community’
– but really, these were the same thing.
“Hitler’s broadest vision was that of
the Volksgemeinschaft, the national community
to be ruled by an elite blood-order. That
to him would transcend the need for class
barriers which he saw as artificial and which
stifled real creative talent.”
Mein Kampf goes on to say a lot more than
this, but the point has been rammed home enough.
Hitler’s creation was a merger of two seductive
ideologies – international socialism and nationalistic
pride. Fusing both of these two together, Hitler didn’t need to nationalise the industries.
“Why do we need all that socialisation of
the banks and factories? What does it matter
once I have the people firmly fitted into
a discipline from which they cannot escape?
We are socialising the people.”
So, do not think the German Nazi state in
the 1930’s and 40’s is capitalism – it
really isn’t capitalism. It’s a state
controlled economy. For the Nazis, socialism
was state intervention in private business,
rather than state ownership of business. Employer
and employee remained – so long as they were
part of the Aryan race.
So yes, these guys are communists basically – or, at least, they’re more communist than they
may have realised. And you may not have made
this connection before now either. And I don’t
blame you. National Socialists also don’t
like communists, so it’s natural to think
that these two ideologies are not similar.
But they are.
The reason Hitler hates the communists is
because, he says, communism was created by
the Jews – his mortal enemy. But, placing
the Jewish element aside for a moment, I would
argue that the reason Hitler drones on and
on about how much he hates communism and how
much that his party and their parties are
not the same is because he needs to differentiate
his socialism with their socialism. Having
read the primary source, I get the impression
that the ramblings he goes on about for the
vast majority of the book are only there to
make sure everyone is clear that he isn’t
a Marxist-Socialist. Because there isn’t
much of a difference between what he’s saying
and what they’re saying, so he’s trying
to come up with a difference. In fact, his
hatred of the Jews, and the ideal of the Aryan
race, is actually the main difference between
the two ideologies.
Now, when you look at the Second World War,
what you have to realise is that you have
two socialist states fighting against each
other. However, this is just their economic
policy. Hitler’s National Socialists are
definitely nationalists – which is a right-wing
idea. So really, you’ve got a Party, or
a state, which is both Left-wing and Right-wing
at the same time. How can this be? Well, this
is why the traditional political spectrum
doesn’t make any sense in the WW2 context. Why is Nazism next to fascism? That
doesn’t make any sense either. And why is Anarchism next to Communism? Again, that doesn’t
make any sense. So let’s get rid of that.
Instead, let’s look at each aspect as a
separate spectrum. Economics and politics
are basically not the same. I guess you
could even have Left and Right within this
as well. But all we need to know is that both
of these states are economically socialist
and politically authoritarian.
“A strong national Reich which recognizes
and protects to the largest possible measure
the rights of its citizens both within and
outside its frontiers can allow freedom to
reign at home without trembling for the safety
of the State. On the other hand, a strong
national Government can intervene to a considerable
degree in the liberties of the individual
subject as well as in the liberties of the
constituent states without thereby weakening
the ideal of the Reich;”
Bees give up their freedom for the greater
hive – definitely authoritarian. To contrast
this to the USA at the time of WW2, the USA
would be Right economically, and probably
mostly Left on the political spectrum – since
she’s not a democracy, she is a Republic.
“The Republic for which it stands.” Britain
in the 1940’s onwards would probably be
classed as mostly socialist economically (due
to state intervention in the economy for the
war effort, and the post-war social welfare
state) but also where the USA is on the political
spectrum due to the Parliamentary system.
And when you think of the Cold War, the same
applies. Think of it in terms of democracy
versus totalitarian governments, rather than
capitalism versus socialism, since socialist
governments also fought on the side of the USA.
So yes, National Socialism is actually authoritarian
socialism, which itself is not that much different
to Stalinist socialism. In fact, is there much of a difference between these two states?
This is an ongoing historical debate
– just how similar are these two ideologies?
And I’m not going to get into that debate
here. But it’s safe to say that, in terms
of their philosophies and political influences,
as well as their economic policies, governments
and other aspects, National Socialism and
Stalinism are very similar indeed.
And, in terms of World War Two, what we need
to realise is that this was a war between
two giant authoritarian power-blocks. It is
a war between different dictators. It is a
war of ideologies. It is a racial war. It
is a war of annihilation. But it’s also
a war to see which version of socialism is
the better version of socialism – and this
is a central part of the war. So basically, to sum
up, when you think of National Socialism – think
Racist Communists, and you won’t be far off.
Thank you to my Patreons for your continuing
support. I required several books in order
to make this video, and without your support,
it wouldn’t have been possible. For further
reading, I’m going to recommend the short
book called “How ‘socialist’ was National
Socialism?” by Brown. It’s cheap and pretty
good. He goes off on one at the end saying
that Nazism were on the far Left, and therefore
Left-wing politics is bad (which is perhaps
his agenda in writing the piece in the first place, I don’t know). And also he claims that the Nazi-Soviet
War was a socialist civil war – which isn’t
true because they have two separate states,
so this wasn’t a civil war at all. But before
this point, it’s a very interesting book.
And that’s just the last two pages, so forget that.
And it certainly gets you thinking, at the very least. So I’d recommend that.
Anyway, thanks for watching, thanks for supporting.
Bye for now.