Why the Nazis Weren’t Socialists – ‘The Good Hitler Years’ | BETWEEN 2 WARS I 1937 Part 2 of 2

Why the Nazis Weren’t Socialists – ‘The Good Hitler Years’ | BETWEEN 2 WARS I 1937 Part 2 of 2


Pyramid schemes, systematic robbery, extortion,
rackets, security money, sham unions, cartels, price fixing, drug dealing, and sweat shops.
No, I’m not talking about the mafia, I’m talking about Nazi German economic practices
of the 1930s. Not socialist, not capitalist, simply criminal. Welcome to Between-2-Wars a chronological
summary of the interwar years, covering all facets of life, the uncertainty, hedonism,
and euphoria, and ultimately humanity’s descent into the darkness of the Second World
War. I’m Indy Neidell. The so called ‘good Hitler years’ in the
mid to late 1930s still persist as a myth, but upon closer scrutiny the myth falls apart.
There’s also a more recent myth, or political fallacy, that the Nazis were fiscally left
wing, even socialists – which is based on what some of them said, but never actually
did. In extremely simplified terms, Hitler’s economic ideology is based on the idea of
growth through conquest, ’Lebensraum’ for the German nation. To perform this conquest,
however, he needs strong economic growth and increased resources, which can only be won
by conquest. That’s a circular self-referencing system that cannot work. More than anything,
though, the Nazi economy is structured like a gigantic organized crime syndicate created
to enrich not the state, or the race, but the Nazi leaders and their capos. In essence,
the German economy of the 1930s is built to fail, and it will have far reaching consequences
if Germany should go to war. Now, we have looked at the German economy
in episodes of this going back 20 years. To say that it has been a roller coaster ride
would be an understatement at best. More like a wild boom and bust ride through several
perfect storms. The long and short of it is that by 1936, Germany has been on and over
the brink of economic catastrophe twice since the end of The Great War. The first crisis
is the self inflicted hyperinflation of 1923, but the recovery form that crisis is equally
self made, and it creates the golden years of asymmetric recovery that last almost up
to the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The most recent crisis in 1930 and 1931 isn’t purely
self inflicted as the world global financial crisis strikes, but Chancellor Heinrich Brüning
manages to make it much worse as he more or less single handedly destroys any capacity
to deal with the world crisis in order to get the Nazis to shut up about reparations. But then came the Nazis and fixed it, right? Well, no. What really happened is that despite
the gridlock of the Reichstag, the chaos of the financial world falling apart, unclarity
about wartime reparations, and more or less no mandate to govern, the cabinet of Chancellor
Franz von Papen, for all his shortcomings, manages to turn Germany back onto the path
to recovery a whole year before the Nazis seize power. It’s not rocket science – they
simply repeal the Brüning austerity measures, they lower taxes, they reinstitute unemployment
protections, and they start public works back up again. But Papen doesn’t get much credit for this
as it’s happening – in July 1932 he renegotiates the payment schedules of reparations, and
although it indefinitely extends a moratorium, it does contain a remainder of 3 billion Dollars
to be paid at some point. The public is outraged and the recovery measures go unnoticed just
then, but by the end of 1932 the recovery is felt in the wallets of the public. Unemployment
is finally dropping and GDP is rising again. According to some analysis this contributes
to the decline in votes the Nazis capture in the November elections. But as we know,
Papen’s next move is to help Hitler seize power. So contrary to popular belief, Hitler
does not inherit an economy in free fall. And at his side he has one of the architects
of German economic success in the 1920s, who has now become the banker of the Nazis. He is Hjalmar Schacht, a well connected financier
with a colorful past. During the great War he went from deputy director of the big national
bank Dresdner Bank to Banking Commissioner of occupied Belgium- a position from which
he is fired when it becomes clear that he has been channeling state money destined for
purchase in Belgium through Dresdner Bank to profit from the transfer fees. Despite
this, he becomes part of the Weimar administration after the war. In 1923 during hyperinflation
he is one of the architects of the recovery plan and the new gold standard currency, the
Rentenmark and starts serving as President of the Reichsbank in November that year. He
has connections to international businessmen, politicians and financiers like US banker
J.P Morgan, and Governor of the Bank of England, Montagu Norman, a close personal friend. He
is instrumental in negotiating the changes to reparation plans and manages German monetary
policy into the Golden Twenties. He is also instrumental in financing for big corporations
like IG Farben, and a proponent of capital cartel building to concentrate financial power
for growth. His political views are fairly mainstream
and initially liberal democratic. In 1918 he cofounds the center right German Democratic
Party the DDP. He is not an anti-Semite and will in fact become one of the only vocal
critics of the Nazi persecution of the Jews who does not lose his position or end up in
the concentration camps. Well, okay, he will end up there in 1944, but for being a passive
supporter in the July 19 assassination attempt on Hitler. Anyway, by 1926 he has growing
concerns about the inclusion of Socialists in the Weimar Republic administration, and
about increased public spending. He is also becoming convinced that he only way for Germany
to regain position on the international stage is aggressive financial growth by slashing
interest rates below sustainability, and rearmament to boost industry and regain respect, both
of which require actions forbidden under the Versailles Treaty. He leaves the DDP and becomes
an independent. In September 1930, he resigns as President
of the Reichsbank in protest against modification by the administration to the renegotiated
reparations under the new Young Plan, which he has co-created. The global economy is now
in crisis and Schacht sees this as an opportunity for Germany to take action. Historian Amos
E Simpson and Schacht biographer puts it this way: ”as the powers became more involved
in their own economic problems in 1931 and 1932 … a strong government based on a broad
national movement could use the existing conditions to regain Germany’s sovereignty and equality
as a world power.” Although Schacht does not go through a real shift of ideology, he
is now ready to back Hitler, whom he has come to believe fulfills those criteria. It is
Schacht that rounds up the support of industrialists and financiers that Hitler needs to seize
power, by introducing Hitler to the business world. Hitler impresses leading German capitalists
by reassuring them that no Socialist measures will come with from a government of the National
Socialist Party. During the December 1932 / January 1933 political gridlock it is Schacht
that puts together the broad petition from top businessmen to President Hindenburg to
appoint Hitler as Chancellor. He now becomes Hitler main financial advisor and will be
the architect of the Nazi Economy. Schacht doesn’t join the Nazi Party, but still,
in March 1933 he is again made President of the Reichsbank, and in August 1934 he is made
Reich Minister of Economics. Hitler and Schacht is a match made in heaven,
or hell depending on how you look at it. The vision they share is of a German economy
let loose to prosper. Hitler, because he has a magical belief in that there is some natural
destiny for success of the German race, and if you just get rid of all the things that
he believes that stands in its way – the Jews, liberalism, and Bolshevism – success is inevitable,
no matter what. Schacht, a bit more astute, believes that in a deregulated, finance friendly
market, the power of big corporations can prosper and strengthen the economy as a whole. They have a problem though. Germany has since
the 1880s been a Social Market Economy. Which is like a Free Market Economy with an addition
of a moderate amount of labor laws, union rights and social security, as well as strong
anti-trust legislation to stop cartel building, price fixing etc. This is a construction created
by the Conservative Chancellor Bismarck back then in order to make some concessions to
liberals and socialists, and stop a drift to the left. It has been largely successful.
The socialist tendencies of left-wing components of the Weimar administrations, and the need
to prop up business during the years of crisis has also resulted in an increase in the number
of nationalized businesses, though. That all needs to go. In May 1933 all unions are abolished and replaced
with the Deutsche Arbeitsfront DAF, a sham single union within the Nazi Party that is
meant to give workers a feeling that the party works and cares for them. In reality Schacht
is repealing labor protection laws en masse like limits on part time work, limits on overtime,
sectional minimum wages, furlough protection, notice times, and so on. They mask it by upholding
unemployment benefits and with cosmetic programs like DAF travels, that only really benefit
very few. Although wages will go up under the Nazis, they will never return to pre-Nazi
levels as share of GDP. Unemployment will also continue to decrease, but that is partly
due to more part time employment, eliminating swaths of the public, like Women, political
dissidents and Jews form the unemployment statistics. The number of women in the German
workforce will not return to 1927 levels until the 1950s, not even during the coming war
years. Next, they get rid of almost all anti-trust
laws and encourage big businesses to form cartels to protect their market position inland
and abroad. This is basically a carte blanche for a small group of capital holders to print
money for themselves without having to care about fair business practices. In exchange,
the corporations subjugate themselves to ideological oversight so that no ‘un-German’ aspects
creep into their business practices. Things like trading with Jewish businesses, allowing
liberal politically minded employees, employing married women and so on. The ideological oversight
also inserts political education into corporate culture so that workers are kept in line with
Nazi doctrine. They also slash taxes for big business in
the cartels. To offset this loss they increase corporate gains taxes for small to medium
enterprises, and companies that don’t join the cartels. In industries that they don’t
consider valuable to the Nazi ideology, or don’t contribute to the aggressive growth
towards an international position of respect, they even tax gross revenue instead of profits.
And then they start a massive privatization program. The constant sale of government owned
business provides between one and three percent of the entire annual budget. And they need
the money to invest in massive public works to create better infrastructure and more than
anything – rearmament. This does keep the economic wheels of recovery
spinning, but it also has another effect. Coupled with the decentralized, extreme freedom
of local party leaders to define the law, the liberalization of all legal regulation
opens up the economy to be robbed by the party. Party executives like Göring, Hitler, and
Goebbels enrich themselves by paying out extraordinary salaries and bonuses, seizing business for
themselves and simply stealing expropriated goods. On the regional and local levels, Gauleiters
and party functionaries extort, blackmail and steal land, money and valuables as they
like. Criminals from outside of the party are, on the other hand, harshly punished,
creating the false feeling that crime is going down. Schacht and Hitler are also running a criminal
scam to circumvent the limitations on financing rearmament. The MEFO Bills are government
bonds that have no real backing in the economy. Basically, they are selling junk bonds at
a high price to the German people. But it is here that a rift starts forming between
Schacht and Hitler. Schacht support rearmament, but only to the point that it is affordable.
Hitler doesn’t care about the economy – he wants to go to war, and believes that future
conquests will compensate for the deficits war creates. When Schacht protests in 1936,
Hitler answers by appointing Herman Göring as a second economic minister. Schacht resigns
as Minister of Economy in 1937, partly as a protest, but also because the MEFO Bill
scam is threatening to unravel by this time. So only three years after starting what was
supposed to be an economic miracle, the Nazis have now drifted into heavy overspending for
ideological reasons. They are now on a path that will, for financial reasons alone, lead
to war. When you add it all up, the effects on the German economy is not great. Hitler
and Schacht didn’t create growth in GDP that was any higher than a previous ‘normal
year’ post WWI like 1927. Before 1927 reparations were still impacting the German economy and
from 1929 the depression pulled it down. There’s a big rally in 1933, though, the year Hitler
seizes power, but that year the whole world economy was moving towards recovery, so this
was pretty much average growth that cannot be attributable to any special economic policy.
More importantly, as economic policy takes time to have any measurable effect on the
economy, any growth in 1933 is from von Papen’s programs and cannot be attributed to Schacht
and the Nazis. In parallel, though, they face increasing
sanctions and restrictions on trade by the democratic western powers. To fix this, at
least temporarily, they create a kind of extended isolationism by reducing their trading
partners to friendly states in order to avoid the impact of the sanctions, and falling resource
and goods prices in the world. They also artificially push up national income by inflating prices
within that closed trade system. The resulting international trade system is not sustainable
though, especially as it requires these limited ‘trade partners’ to be extended at some
point and this in turn again leaves them with no other way than conquest. The only way you can see it all as being great
is if you compare it to the dismal years of hyperinflation in the twenties, and the dip
of the after the 1929 crash. Moreover, as growth was starting from a heavily contracted
economy after the crash, growth in real numbers was not as impressive as the percentile growth
should indicate. And this was growth created artificially in preparation for conquest of
resources and economic might. It is specifically here that the catch 22 of needing growth to
conquer to create growth negates any possible positive effects. You really see it in the numbers for 1937
and 1938. Technically these years should automatically be higher growth years as the economy grows
through Anschluss of Austria and the annexation of parts of Czechoslovakia. Instead we see
a slowing GDP growth, which indicates that without annexation the picture would be grimmer.
So already before a war breaks out the Nazi economic bubble is set to burst under the
weight of waging a war they can’t really afford. But where does the myth of the good Hitler
years come from? Well part of it is probably post fact cognitive
dissonance to self-justify why you supported the Nazis, Another part is the perception
of things getting better, because they were even worse before. But what about all the
money they stole? Couldn’t that be the reason for the ‘good Hitler years’ at least for
those who weren’t robbed? Well no, because although the Nazis systematically plundered
people they prosecuted and murdered – in Germany alone they confiscated more than a
year worth of GDP from the German Jews (120 Billion Reichsmark) – this is redistribution
of wealth in a very nasty way and redistribution doesn’t create growth, it just moves money
around. Moreover, incarcerating these people, or murdering
them, takes them out of the productive economy so that any effect redistribution could have
had is nullified. As they start gobbling up nations, they use slavery and forced labor
to offset this effect, but this too is short sighted and fairly uneconomic- here, we must
not forget that the reason for persecution and murder of ‘undesirables’ is not financial,
but ideological. And let’s not forget, most of what they steal doesn’t go into the system,
the party leaders and Gauleiters keep it for themselves. Self-enrichment and ideological fanaticism,
two concepts that maybe are not the best basis on which to run a nation. Hjalmar Schacht certainly didn’t think so
– by 1938 he is even a passive supporter of the resistance and secretly advocating for
a coup. And yet he is the very man that has created this mess by enabling the Nazis. Hitler
has once again outsmarted those that think they can use him to gain political advantage
while controlling his fanaticism. Germany is now an economic steam train headed at full
speed into a tunnel, and no one knows where that tunnel ends. There’s no engineer to
hit the brakes, and the train just keeps on picking up speed. Hitler and Göring have
created a system of growth that will leave them no option for armistice. They must fight
and win all the way to the oil fields of the Caucasus, the steel in the north, the factories
in the west, and the grain in the East. That’s what they hope is at the end of that tunnel,
fuel for their train. But as long as they are still in the tunnel, they will resort
to burning the only fuel they have on board – the passengers. If you’d like to see our video on how the
Treaty of Versailles did not cause the Nazi rise to power, you can click right here for
that, any second now. Our patron of the week is Sam Benda. Be like Sam and join the TimeGhost
Army to ensure that we can make more content, just like this. Subscribe and ring that bell
and… It’s not the economy stupid, it’s the
stupid economy. Get it? May you be prosperous, cheers Whilst

100 Comments on "Why the Nazis Weren’t Socialists – ‘The Good Hitler Years’ | BETWEEN 2 WARS I 1937 Part 2 of 2"


  1. From an intellectual viewpoint, this is perhaps the most challenging episode I have written in this series. First of all it's hard to make economic policy interesting, even when it's about the Nazis. It tends to get, well… grey. Second of all it's not that easy to simplify things without completely losing the essence of what was going on. Third of all, I'm fighting an uphill battle against a post truth, political talking point based on… let's just call it less than ingenious purposes. 

    Obviously that's the idea that the Nazis were Socialists. And perhaps that is not so far fetched when you think of the name of their party, the way they framed their anti-semitic rhetoric in a way that it would sound friendly to the working class, and their absolute disregard for telling the truth about anything, and everything. But although we have painstakingly showed you the facts, I am painfully aware that it won't make a difference to stop the nonsense out there and in here – some pundits will religiously stick to their ideas, because if they don't, they might have to face that some of the ideas they have are mutual with the people they so desperately want to distance themselves from. The same happened with the far left between the 1930s and 1970s, when they tried with cramped desperation to frame Stalinism as a right wing, Fascist movement – Red Fascism was the term – obviously as much nonsense as the alt-right idea that Naziism is Socialism.

    And is it important? Well yes and no – the dumbos will probably get worn out at some point, it's after all quite challenging to look for ways to distort the record over, and over again. I don't really care if the extremists try to push their mutual garbage in each other's lap – as a supporter of democracy and humanism, I have no regard for either end. I do however have an incredible amount of respect for conservatives, liberals, and progressives who are equally dedicated to democracy and human rights – and there is where it matters. 

    When the far left tries to frame Stalinism as right wing, and the far-right tries to frame Naziism is left-wing, they are trying to co-opt a position of less extremism. It's an invasive attempt for Communists and (real) Socialists to just look like regular Progressives, and Fascists and Nazis to just look like regular Conservatives. And that my friends is dangerous, to all of us, regardless of our nationality, creed, political affiliation, or opinion – because it is specifically our individual rights and democracy that is at stake in this game. That's what they want to take away, or in some places stop from developing.

    RULES OF CONDUCT
    STAY CIVIL AND POLITE we will delete any comments with personal insults, or attacks.
    AVOID PARTISAN POLITICS AS FAR AS YOU CAN we reserve the right to cut off vitriolic debates.
    HATE SPEECH IN ANY DIRECTION will lead to a ban.
    RACISM, XENOPHOBIA, OR SLAMMING OF MINORITIES will lead to an immediate ban.
    PARTISAN REVISIONISM, ESPECIALLY HOLOCAUST AND HOLODOMOR DENIAL will lead to an immediate ban.

    Reply

  2. The left-right linear political spectrum makes no sense and that is your biggest mistake here.
    You have dug a very nice hole.

    Reply

  3. The only reason why Nazi Germany so aggresive, Its because they don't pay the debt and reparation in the beginning.
    This bring the implication to their economic system is based on lebensraum, lebensborn, dominated the world. They do not need money, they need more worker and more living space.

    The nation like a cell which grow up to a species who will lead or dominating other nation.

    Reply

  4. If the state owns 100% of the means of production you have socialism.
    If the state owns 0% of the means of production you have free markets.
    Where on this spectrum do the Nazis stand?
    If above 50% then they are by definition more socialist than "capitalist"
    If below 50% the other way around.

    Make a choice.

    Reply

  5. Were you NOT paying attention to how they described THEMSELVES? They called their party the National SOCIALISTS… you pissant who thinks he knows more about the NAZIS than they themselves!

    Reply

  6. "Hitler was never a socialist. But although he upheld private property, individual entrepreneurship, and economic competition, and disapproved of trade unions and workers’ interference in the freedom of owners and managers to run their concerns, the state, not the market, would determine the shape of economic development. Capitalism was, therefore, left in place. But in operation it was turned into an adjunct of the state. There is little point in inventing terms to describe such an economic ‘system’. Neither ‘state capitalism’, nor a ‘third way’ between capitalism and socialism suffices. Certainly, Hitler entertained notions of a prosperous German society, in which old class privileges had disappeared, exploiting the benefits of modern technology and a higher standard of living. But he thought essentially in terms of race, not class, of conquest, not economic modernization. Everything was consistently predicated on war to establish dominion. The new society in Germany would come about through struggle, its high standard of living on the backs of the slavery of conquered peoples. It was an imperialist concept from the nineteenth century adapted to the technological potential of the twentieth" (Ian Kershaw "Hitler 1889–1936: Hubris" 1998, digital: loc. 10,031). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUFvG4RpwJI&t=1s

    Reply

  7. “Unlike them [“liberalism, conservatism, and socialism”], fascism does not rest on formal philosophical positions with claims to universal validity” (Robert Paxton “The Five Stages of Fascism” 1998 p. 4).

    "Fascism, by contrast [to conservatism, liberalism, & socialism], was a new invention created afresh for the era of mass politics. It sought to appeal mainly to the emotions by the use of ritual, carefully stage-managed ceremonies, and intensely charged rhetoric… .Fascism does not rest explicitly upon an elaborated philosophical system, but rather upon popular feelings about master races, their unjust lot, and their rightful predominance over inferior peoples… .Fascism is 'true' insofar as it helps fulfill the destiny of a chosen race or people or blood, locked with other people's in a Darwinian struggle, and not in the light of some abstract and universal reason" (Robert O. Paxton "The Anatomy of Fascism" 2004 p. 16).

    Reply

  8. Well this won't be controversial at all. But I did find the video quite enlightening.
    I would argue that the criminal cronyism of the Nazis is precisely what end-game socialism is. Exploit the grievances of the lower classes to obtain power, promise them the world, then concentrate the nation's wealth into the hands of the few. The true believers, the one's who genuinely wanted to help the lower classes, are always the first to go to the concentration camp/gulag/firing squad.
    I'll end with referring to "The Road to Serfdom" by Friedrich Hayek. Planned economies, including socialism, ultimately lead to fascism. This accurately describes the Nazis (and are used as an example in the book of socialism leading to fascism), and splitting hairs over whether they were socialist or not is irrelevant, as they both end up at the same place.

    Reply

  9. If you think hitler was a Socialist say that to the Nine million who died that wore a red triangle on their uniform.

    Reply

  10. 13:20 wait.. when did the topic switch to the american president??
    14:30 this actually fits US like a glove xD

    Reply

  11. Fascism is the result of capitalism suffering a fit. Conservatives annoy me when they claim the Nazis were socialist, since it's a lazy argument.

    Reply

  12. Fascism, and Nazism, doesn't fit into either the capitalist or the socialist sphere. People who argue otherwise are being disingenuous.

    Reply

  13. Disappointing to see an earlier slip-up made into a full "We're going to stand for this despite the evidence and the re-interpretation we needed to do."

    Reply

  14. Why the Nazis Weren’t Socialists | BETWEEN 2 WARS I 1937 Part 2 of 2
    Good content. Now how do I find Part 1 of 2?
    I've been all over the menus looking for it.

    Reply

  15. The Nazis were definitely socialists, but they were not able to implement all of their socialist policies because some of them were too expensive. The ones that required a huge investment had to be scrapped because they had to spend a ton of money on the military, as they were gearing up for a war. Things like giving a car to every poor person through VW fell by the wayside. The more bureaucratic measures, however, like raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing vacation time, and limited work weeks, were implemented through the German Labour Front. The Nazis were socialists. That was their goal. It isn't surprising about VW, though, as even America, the world's largest economy, had to stop producing civilian cars in WWII in favor of military production. However, no one has been able to explain to me how they weren't socialists, yet they implemented things like guaranteed healthcare, guaranteed vacations, a shorter work week. They built SIX cruise ships for poor people, and yes they were actually built, for those saying that the Nazis didn't follow through on their promises. Again, they followed through when they could afford it, but they didn't when they ran out of money. The Nazis were definitely socialists.

    Reply

  16. it is socialism, if you think of society like a colony of ants. if they don't practice what they preach it's because they are humans and not ants, that's the biggest problem with socialism. it fails and ends up in feudalism, if the party controls the means of production then the people don't, it's self defeating. all you need is to negate private property to make it socialism, so the more the state takes, the less secure your possessions are, then the closer you are to it. practice does not and can not match theory.

    Reply

  17. Obviously crime and capitalism are hardly mutually exclusive alternatives. Corruption, extortion, lying and swindling are natural business practices to attempt in a market economy, and its just a matter of how much of the same greed driven, ruthless habits are legalised at any time.

    Reply

  18. Wow! Thank you so much for this video! It is utterly important that a channel with such a huge audience as you have presents a well researched video on this topic, which is full of myths. I can't express how grateful I am.

    The Schachtian, or Nazi economy basically was Keynesian. But unlike the Keynesian economy under Roosevelt, for example, who introduced high taxes for the rich and other measures to finance his Keynesian programs, the Nazis were calculating on the fruits of robbery. They had just a predatory economy, that was its main characteristic. And it is really good that you put this out so comprehensively. Amazing.

    One more thing, more generally speaking:

    Because of the seemingly Keynesian character of the Nazi economy, many insist that it was socialist. But Keynesianism is not socialism! Neo-classical economists use to call Keynesians "socialists", but that's just a slur.

    The Nazi state was not the biggest PRODUCER, it was not a producer at all. It was the biggest CUSTOMER. And that is the main difference between a socialist and a Keynesian economy. But in the case of the Nazis, the state was not only the biggest customer, but on top of that a customer who bought everything on credit! And without any concept of how to pay back the credit — except for robbing others, of course…

    First, they looted state property, and they did so to such an extent that the term "privatization" is directly associated with the Nazis:
    en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Privatization#20th_century_onwards (interrupted, because active links often don't get through)

    Privatization of public property is the absolute opposite of socialism…

    And after all state property had been sold away, they specialized in robbing their neighbors:

    In March 1938 the annexation of Austria, in September 1938 the Sudetenland, in March 1939 the rest of the Czech Republic, in September 1939 Poland, and then France, Denmark, Greece, and and and … Until on 22.6.1941 they went on their main and major raid against the Soviet Union.

    Reply

  19. Redistribution of wealth can generate growth depending on who the recipents are. Taking money from rentiers and the very wealthy to redistribute to workers and needy familes generates wealth by increasinf effective demand and increasing the velocity of circulation of money. Redistributions in the opposite direction, as by huge tax breaks and subsidies to huge corporations and the very rich has the opposite effect, disincentivising investment by raising profit rates. The Nazi redistribution was of this latter, typical neoliberal character, rather than redistribution in favour of workers and those on low incomes which can be called socialist, or at least social democratic policy.

    Reply

  20. A jolly good shot at explaining a very slippery fish of an issue. Of course, the Nazis were 'socialists' just not Marxian Socialists; and that's the difficulty – Marxism, in its Leninist, Trotskyist, Stalinist, Maoist etc forms has become the default meaning of the term. And the prevailing ethos of Marxian Socialist dialectic, as still pushed maniacally by academia, makes the error of turning this narrow view into a fake orthodoxy .. to be imposed on the masses, quite merrily.
    For instance, Peron's socialism and Tito's Socialism were in many ways closer to Mussolini's and Franco's Populism than the Stalinist or Maoist brands of Communism. They were more power-ists than Party-ists; Hilter's German national Socialism was both party-ist and Power-ist, but mostly about power (by whatever means, yet especially through the Party). And that driving will to have, exercise, and control the full power of the state, in the hands of one self-selecting party, is the basic meaning of fascism .. holding the fascia rods .. even when its reality is used to advance a type of dictatorial socialistic ideology (Class Conflict, strong-man government in the name of the Masses, Single Party Rule et al).
    ;o)

    Reply

  21. I still don't understand how the Nazis weren't socialists. From the way you describe their actions, they sound very similar to Robert Mugabe's regime. Mugabe was very much a socialist, if not a communist. Zimbabwe also engaged in a limited amount of external warfare, but not very successful (if my memory serves).

    Reply

  22. Hitler used the term "Socialist"
    Stalin used the term "Socialist"
    Mao used the term "Socialist"
    How many people died because of them?
    How many more have to die before I'm allowed to distrust people/movements that use the term "Socialist"?

    Reply

  23. a forgotten aspect of fascism and nazism is the belief behind both, according to which humanity can be regulated like a machine and human society should be managed like a bee-hive. this is a very general metaphore, but not inaccurate. the question is not only how wrong the fascists of the past were, but what have we accepted or rejected from this legacy.

    Reply

  24. I still think Facism is on the left side of the spectrum. The reasons are that Facism isn't an economic idealogy, the german government is more closely aligned to a socialist governmennt, and the government funded companies outclassed the public companies by a long shot. The idealogy was solely based on racial and religious class and doesnt fare well in the economic outlook as seen in the video. Only thing is the video left out a couple of key aspects of the economy that parallel itself with a socialist economy rather than a capitalist right one. Hitler followed the socialist/communist idea of government redistribution which was a key attribute to any communist state. And yeah it was partially a social economy but Hitler gave more power to the government owned companies (like Soviet Union and China did) making the public companies almost useless. He also forced priced onto his citizens rather than they make their own. This is an attribute of a Socialist economy (government regulated prices). One thing that did separate Hitler's economy and other socialist economies was the equality of riches. Many Germans did not have an equal pay meaning there was a rich and poor class system. Hitler focused on the resource side of the economy and largely left the banks to another one of his associates (probably the one in the video I'm not too sure).Another sperating factor was that the economy was extremely dependant on the government for its resources rather than a socialist economy being dependant on the government for everything. One thing is for sure is that the economy was no capitalist economy. A Capitalist economy would have the resources put in the people's hands rather than the redistributor government. Also just wanted to make clear that Nationalism is not on either side of the spectrum because Nationalism is the following/love of a certain nationtionality. Facism is different than nationalism but is closely related since usually a people of a certain race tend to stick to a certain nation. You have all of this evidence on Germany's economy yet don't explain why it isn't even close to a socialist economy. I will despite watching the video still continue to believe that Facism is on the left side of the spectrum for a lot more reasons than the ones listed in this comment. Wish you well and hope you took something out of this commet.

    Reply

  25. “Lebensraum” was a geopolitical idea, not primarily an economic one. In other words, achieving it would supply Germany with room for demographic increase*, *strategic depth (i.e., you can invade Russia, but you don’t know if you’ll make it out alive. It’s not the same for teeny tiny Germany. They wanted to make it the same, and in hindaight, they had a point) and the wide variety of raw materials that you can only find all together in territories of a size much greater than Germany (the USSR and USA were almost entirely self-sufficient in that aspect, whereas wartime Germany had to import raw materials from all over the place, iron from Sweden, oil from Romania etc., leading to chronic shortages and the constant danger of being cut off.
    But, if anything, the Germans would bring wealth to those areas the NS planned to conquer (through more rational, technologically more advanced means, especially in agriculture), not vice-versa.
    Certainly not “wealth through conquest”, especially since the lands referred to as “Lebensraum” (i.e. between Germany and the Urals) were perhaps the most fertile yet backwards in agricultural terms. Many German and European soldiers in 1941 pointed out that the misery in the countrysides was beyond what they had imagined possible, whereas Soviet soldiers in Germany in 1945 were shocked by the opposite (there is a famous quote by war correspondant V. Grossman: “It was only after we entered Germany, and more and more as we neared Berlin, that our guys started asking themselves, ‘Why did they attack us? They have everything, we have nothing, why invade us?’”. Quoting from memory).
    If anything, it isn’t the NS but rather Marxist economics that are based on conquest, and openly so, since the latter admit that the “Capitalist phase” is best at producing those “means of production” and material wealth that the Marxist-inspired governments will go on and merely “redistribute” in a purportedly better way.

    Reply

  26. Do you have sources at hand regarding the point made at 18:05 that what the NS confiscated from German Jews alone was worth one year of German GDP? That’s a pretty shocking number.
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply

  27. When the state controls the economy it's socialism. You don't need to pander to current radical socialists by repeating their deflections of nazi association. Most nazi members converted from communists and Hitler was fond of Bolshevik political strategy. Though talking about it would probably get your channel banned on Youtube.

    Reply

  28. Perhaps the Nazis were not theoretical socialists but most of the points discussed sound to me like what happens in reality in real socialist countries. The party become the elite class and the mafia and share the spoils of the state and big business is run through the party to support the economy while small and medium business is crushed or simply outlawed. Real socialism always ends in totalitarianism and loss of individual rights. Scandinavian socialism was never real socialism it was capitalism with a social conscience.

    Reply

  29. The Nazis have been socialists, and not because of the name, but because of two main part of their ideology:

    – Treating individuals als just part of a greater mass, whose interest supersedes those of the individual („Du bist nichts, Dein Volk ist alles“)
    – Understanding economy as a system of order and obeyance, rather than of entrepreneuship, demand and supply

    This does of course neither mean that they have been identical to other socialist groups or ideologies – there have always been various rivalling leftist ideologies – nor does it alter the fact that the right-wing parties chose to support the Nazis because of their nationalist appeal.

    But the longstanding leftist narrative of the Nazis as a right-wing movement is nonsense and not supported by the facts.

    Reply

  30. For me, it looks like future capitalists draw their whole knowledge from the "Hitler-Economics-School"… Criminal aka Capitalistic… USA doesn´t even conquer countries anymore, it just sucks their resources, and shackles the population throught debt, even more intelligent than Hitler, admittedly…

    Reply

  31. Simple, it is corporatism. (Different from crony capitalism) Google it, because i dont feel like explaining it here

    Reply

  32. Of course Hitler would say to a bunch of business owners that he wasn’t going to socialize their companies. He did it after he took over the government. Nice history revisionism, Indy.

    Reply

  33. As a one party state they had to cobble together an official ideology that supposedly offered something to everyone across the political spectrum. Suharto and Pinochet copied this too, promoting a ‘universalist’ ideology to justify their rule. Even Stalin was pushed in this direction when he appealed to nationalism and reintroduced Tsarist honors during the war.

    Reply

  34. "Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely — and correctly — regarded as being on the political left."
    – Thomas Sowell. Someone who actually knows what he's talking about.

    https://www.creators.com/read/thomas-sowell/06/12/socialist-or-fascist

    Reply

  35. So glad that this episode was made. One of my pet peeves is when people argue that the Nazis were socialists.

    Reply

  36. I wonder how many of the people that don't like the term "Socialism" don't like it because the Nazis called themselves "Socialist" and are worried that other people/groups that use that term could end up like Hitler.

    Reply

  37. Great video.
    The Nazi's were definitely not Socialists. In fact the Spanish Civil war was fought between "The Right" which included Nazi, Fascists, Phalangists, Nationalists & ultra-Conservatives on one side vs "The Left" who had Marxists-Leninists, Trotskyites, Democratic Socialists, Anarchists & Liberals on the other side. Homage To Catalonia by Orwell, which while it is a great book on the Spanish Civil War it's mainly about the Catalonia Revolution & the different political forces at work.

    Reply

  38. So what you are saying is that PragerU, Dave Rubin, Candace Owens and the other intellectual heavyweights of the right wing have been lying all this time about the Nazis belonging to the political ideology of people they murdered first? Well fuck me sideways with a hammer and a sickle… Seriously though, good on you for a historically sound recap of history that all of us should know, no thanks to America's dogshit education system.

    Reply

  39. Excuse me but if the government has any involvement in the economy then that country is socialist.

    – TIK

    Reply

  40. Absolutely amazing video! This is absolutely fascinating stuff and this series has redefined my thinking on a whole lot. Im very entrigued by this topic in particular and wonder if there are any books or sources you would recommend on this topic?

    Reply

  41. The concept of capitalism was created after the contribution of the Das Kapital and many other studies that was trying to understand the socio-economic system going on at that time.

    In contrast, socialism was created as a theory to solve the inequality and misery problems that they saw as the consequences of class struggle under capitalism. So, at the core of socialist theories lays the need of the socialization of the means of production (land, factories and kapital). Furthermore, communism should be a post socialist society when, after the equalization and the cultural adoption of a communal lifestyle, there would not be a government nor even a currency…

    Knowying this, is completely absurd how people come to consider a country with private means of production as socialist or communist just because of a party name or a flag. Reality doesn't matter anymore…

    Reply

  42. I fear that the position of the producer is too critical of the Nazi policy. The video in fact focused very little at how the Nazis made the germany economy work. It is mostly criticisms and knocking down of the “myth” of Nazi economic success. I feel this is done so intentionally because the leadership of Youtube as well as many public opinions are very much hostile and intolerant towards the ideas that the Nazis did anything good. In their mind, the Nazis were either evil or stupid. While that might be true for some Nazis, it can’t be taken as a rule of thumb for all Nazis and their policies. We need to in fact, focus on what actually happened, not what we think happened to fit our modern moral compass. The Nazi economic development plan was not orthodox or conventional. It required the state to intervene so much that it had to be a dictatorial state in order to do so. The aim of Nazi economic policy was to improve the infrastructure of Germany, as well as to increase German manufacturing sector. Namely, the German armament sector. This is an object way of looking at things. Not the emotional and rhetorical speech Indy gave at bashing the germany policies. The fact being that the Nazis fared much better than the rest of capitalist world did in the aftermath of the Great Depression. And things should be learned from them as to why, even tho it has little application to our world today.

    Reply

  43. Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the state.

    Winston Churchill

    Reply

  44. Wonder what would happen if Czechoslovakia defended their borders then. Seems like Germany might have a hard time keeping their economy going like that.

    Reply

  45. The Nazis under Hitler were not Socialists, never were. The Soviet Union under Stalin was not Communist. Both were dictatorships. Much as Putin in Russia today, and as the USA will be if Trump stays another 4 years.

    Reply

  46. Socialists cry “Power to the people”, and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean – power over people, power to the State.

    Margaret Thatcher

    Reply

  47. A very interesting video. It sounds to me that the German economy was comparable to the economy of S. KOrea during the 1960-1997 period.

    Reply

  48. An example of how fascists ran the economy is South Korea and the Chae’bol system under Park Chung Hee’s dictatorship.

    Reply

  49. LOL. TIK's videos are now showing up im my recommended section despite my having blocked his videos. His people in Saint Petersburg seem to be gaming the algorithm again.

    Reply

  50. I really liked TIK and still have a great deal of respect for his effort and work, but he has lost it recently

    This video perfectly summs up all of the countering to falacies that he presents in his videos on socialism and I am just glad that you put a LOT of effort into making a neutralist stance on every topic. I just hope he realizes that he is going down the wrong path and turns away before he becomes someone ridicule target

    Keep up the amazing work TGH!

    Reply

  51. I’ve been saying all this for years to the morons who like to say, “The Nazis were socialist, it’s in their name!” 🙄 Such Derp.
    Just like the “Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea” is “Democratic”, hub?

    The “Night of the long knives” was in response mostly to purge the party of people who spoke against Hitler because he “wasn’t socialist enough” for them. Guys like the Strasser bro’s, and even Rôhm, who led the SA were liquidated because they spoke against the Führer. The homosexuality was mostly an excuse- Hitler knew guys like Rôhm were gay, he didn’t care.

    Reply

  52. And PLEASE, for the love of all that is good, can we kill the
    “And for no reason at all, suddenly they elected Hitler”, meme?
    THAT MEME MUST DIE!
    IT IS COMPLETE B.S!

    Reply

  53. The Nazis weren't Marixst-Socialist. That is for sure. But it depends on how you define socialism. You're only allowing socialism to be Marxist. But words are the way they are used. All the fascists from Mussolini to Hitler called themselves socialist. American Progressives, fascists, and Communists, used the word "socialist" in different ways. Why are their ways less legitimate? Marxian Socialism hasn't even been practiced since Lenin. Stalin was, by some definition, Communist and Socialist. But his "Socialism in One Country" should have discredited him as acting out Marxist ideology. Marx certainly didn't argue for that. He broke with Marxian thought in many ways. Lenin warned against him. Indeed, the closest propagators of Marxism were executed (Trotsky, ex.)

    I think the problem is that we argue over these terms (like communism, fascism, etc) without always giving clear definitions.

    Generally, academics like putting the economic "spectrum" on to 2 "sides", laissez-faire capitalism versus collectivization (often called socialism). I think that playing into what I believe is a false dichotomy (with center being "in-between"), which we are all taught from birth by textbooks, "academia" and the media, it is justified that we place Nazism/fascism as socialism, because it clearly wasn't free-market capitalism, and human beings are not willing to deconstruct their ideological paradigms to avoid this false dilemma. I like your explanation for the Nazi economy being neither capitalist or socialist, but you seem to shoot down any opinion of the Nazis being socialist as obviously ridiculous. It is because these words are used so broadly, and mean different things to different ideologues.

    Reply

  54. Ok so there is some misleading shit here. Schacht and Hitler were not a match made anywhere they were actually very antagonistic to each other precisely because Schacht was a capitalist and Hitler was a socialist.

    Hitler very much believed in Socialist economic theories and implemented them, what a lot of people forget is that the Nazis were also big on Agrarianism because Germany's lack of food is what caused the loss of WWI. Because of this their socialist policies do not look like most other socialist/communist nations which focused on industrialization. Germany was already industrialized so when it came time for the Nazis to redistribute wealth they redistributed it to the sector that would solve their food shortage, the war industry. Yes it was the war industry that they intended to use to solve the food shortage, this is what was meant by "lebensraum" the Nazis intended to seize the means of food production through war.

    They specifically decided to start the war to seize the means of food production because they believed Socialist economic theories that were anti-capitalist and anti-trade. The Nazis need for war was inextricably linked to their belief in Socialist ideas.

    The "privatization" is also a lie. The Nazis believed that the Aryan people were the Nation and the Nazi party was the embodiment of the Nation. They never let anything they "privatized" out of party and therefore state control. The Nazis seized all private capital that they possibly could and used it to fund the Nazi-State war machine that they would use to conquer the eastern farmlands and establish their empire. There was nothing "private" about it. The entire appropriation of capital to fund the war effort was seen as a Keynesian investment on behalf of the German people to secure a Socialist way of life for all Aryans.

    Reply

  55. welcome to my subject sir ive covered 1900-1941 on my pinterest site bowllyology.com might interest you thanks steve lawson enjoyed your ww1 series thanks steve lawson

    Reply

  56. Hitler was a socialist as he and his helpers claimed. Socialists of today try desperately to hide this fact. It shows to clearly the result of a Socialist government

    They hide it by breaking up everything Hitler did into tiny details and then take some assorted details to say "Look this is not what a socialist would do." That is like saying "This animal looks like a cow, it sounds like a cow, it is born out of a cow but it is not a cow! Because it has a slightly different stain on its left shoulder" Compare any socialist party you want, break it up in tiny bits and be amaze how different they are.

    But they have one sort of rough general scheme. Socialists are rich people who have nothing to do with the working class. They consider the working class well below them and inferior. Only fit to make a cross behind the Socialist party's name on the ballot. They claim they want to help these poorer classes. Once in power they will destroy the country by making sure there are more and more poor people (= more and more voters!) The Socialist elite will plunder the country to enrich themselves. Huge salaries and a very lucrative job carousel for themselves. All paid with tax money. They will take control of the schools and media. Through those they will dictate what is political correct and what not. Anyone with other ideas will be socially destroyed or even killed. In the end they will of course destroy/bankrupt the country. The small socialist elite is very rich, their voters are poor and will be kept poor and the rest has to work to finance this all. Look what a mess Labor made. Llook at the really bad situation in Left wing controlled California
    Look at what Stalin did or Mao or Pol Pot or…. Hitler…. These were all dictators who claimed to be Socialists.
    So yes, Nazi's were socialists, just like they claimed to be!

    Why do you think Socialist EU wants to import so many uneducated and useless immigrants? They are the new voters for the socialist parties in Europe! They do not care if they destroy Europe! Main thing is that they stay in power. That is Socialism! Asocial and egocentric to the bone!

    Vote Left and you will end up poor and miserable in a destroyed and bankrupt homeland. Look at once save and rich Sweden. Poor people of Sweden, how do you like life under your "social" Socialist government? Nice huh, all those rapes, robberies, attacks and bombings. Makes life exiting, doesn't it ?
    Oh wait, your very "social" Left wing Socialist government forbids you to complain, don't they ?…. sorry.

    Reply

  57. This debate can at times seem trivial. For even if we were to prove the nazis capitalist or socialist. Those who attempt to then use that as evidence to declare an entire half of the political spectrum (left or right) as total idiots and wrong is a plainly stupid idea. It is further to consider that, for while these large government actions/interventions still strike me as socialist. As socialism is state control of capital/the economy. Where as communists are using socialism as a transitional stage to a classless stateless society. However, I don't then leap to the conclusion that we need an unfettered "pure free market" society. This argument brought up that "socializing the people socializes the state" is an insanely racist and disgusting idea. That, if the means of production aka capital are in the hands of ethnic Germans. They will automatically follow the exact goals and wishes of the Nazi state. As if to state that all ethnic groups are hive minds, a rather nazi like view coming from a man claiming that he hates the nazis. As always this is but one individual's opinion, subject to change and does not hold all the answers. And of course, I don't hate TIK. I attempt to absorb his arguments, see what makes sense, and question what doesn't.

    Reply

  58. Okay so what is socialism? Isn't it state control of part (or the whole) of the econonomy? Isn't that what most governments do they control aspects of the economy (obviously some more so that others). So by definition most governments are socialist. The Nazi's are no exception. Looking closely at what they did ( Which is briefly done in the video) They took control of the economy, they injected their ideology into private businesses, they plundered the wealth of the private businesses, they raised taxes on your business if you didn't join their cartels. They abolised unions, yes, but then they forced everyone into one giant centrally controled union. Centrally, means controled by the government. I don't think the Nazi's being socialist was a myth. I think that they were 'national' socialists. I mean the phrase "redistribution of wealth" was used in the video. That's what marxist socialists did too. They redistributed wealth by class lines whereras national socialists redistributed the wealth along "racial" or "national" lines. I hate using the word redistriubted. They stole and murdered and pined their own pockets. Both ideoligies were and still are wrong, both are evil and hopefully both are not to be repeated again. But both are a type of extreme socialism where private life is completely dominated by the government. People need to understand, Communism, Faciism, National Socialism, are all extreme socialist governmental ideoligies, they are all totalitarianism. I feel that the real myth is the "left to right" political spectrum. Where for some reason you have totalitarian ideologies on either end like they are opposites, when the are in fact the same thing. I feel that this done confuse people on purpose. All totalitarian regimes forcefully impose their rule on their citizens and interfere with the day to day life of the common people. They erase concepts like freedom, democracy, representation, human rights, individualism and expression. People need to stop pretending words mean things that they don't and they need to think, critically, about what words and actions mean. Ask yourself, would you like to live in a country were you could potentially have all of your rights, property and freedoms stripped away from you for something as arbitrary as religion, skin colour, gender or profession? I know I wouldn't. I always ask people who support totalitarian ideology the same question "What if it was your family or friends they come after, someone you love, would you be okay with that?"

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *