By Christina Grattan
It is no coincidence that the Nazi’s party name was “the National Socialist German Workers Party.” 2 Hitler was a socialist, and it cannot be denied. F.A. Hayek, a renowned economist, warned that “many who think themselves… infinitely superior to the aberrations of Naziism... work at the same time for ideals whose realization would lead straight to the abhorred tyranny.” 1
He goes on to say that it is not the German, but “the socialist element [which] produced totalitarianism” in Nazi Germany. 1 While anti-capitalists refuse to associate themselves with this genocidal regime, they inevitably do when they praise socialism. Not many realize this today, but it is was the Nazi’s demonization of capitalism, which fueled their anti-semitic sentiment: loathing the Jews’ commercial success.1
Ludwig Von Mises, an Austrian Economist, explains how there are two types of socialism: the more obvious type 1, the Soviet model, and type 2, the Nazi model. 1 Although the Nazis did not literally seize every industry as in type 1 and preserved private ownership and the market, the Nazis controlled the businesses by setting prices, production quotas, wages, interest rates, and dictating who would be their consumers and buyers. 2 Although it seemed like “capitalism,” it was a mere guise for an “authority” that directed the production, instead of consumers. 3
This means the Nazis indirectly controlled supply and demand, rendering the consumer’s autonomy powerless. The creativity of the market was replaced by the looming Nazi state, patrolling every aspect of the business. Although it was privatized in name, economic freedom was suppressed just as severely as it would be in the Soviet model.
The Nazis implicitly owned the means of production. It easily deceived shop owners into believing they lived in a free-market economy when, in reality, they became a subject living under the government’s interfering hand. 4 Even the right to property was violated since the Nazis controlled its “use and disposal,” which is a de facto form of public ownership. 2
A crucial maxim to remember is that socialism comes in many different colors, not just the red and yellow Soviet flag or the Green New Deal. We should be aware of this, realizing that socialism has no cultural, geographical, partisan, or ethnic bounds and can easily form in any society.
So when Hitler advocated for “the good of the community before the good of the individual,” this could have been the saying of communist Russia, Cuba, or even Venezuela. 2 It is evident that different countries can institute socialism in their own manner. We need to understand when that line is crossed into socialism and not be deceived into believing that Nazism is a phenomenon of the far right. Nazism is right in a socialist’s ballpark due to the desire for immense government control over the individual.
Hayek, F.A. (2007). The Road to Serfdom. University of Chicago Press. pp. 59, 63, 167
Paul, R. (2019). The Case Against Socialism. HarperCollins. pp. 147, 151, 140
Christina is currently a junior political science major at Biola University, who has a genuine heart to help the world. Her strong faith in God drives her to pursue justice to create a freer and better world, which starts with fighting the lies of socialism. In her free time, you can find her reading books to inform herself, discussing politics, and making frozen yogurt runs.