Monday, February 10, 2020

My Answer to a Claim that Nazism Was Not Socialism

A Twitter reader attempted to deny the fact that Nazism was socialism. (See his tweet thread at Here's my reply, written on December 26 and 27 of 2019:

You say, “History is about detail….” It is also about decisive facts. Such a fact is that under the Nazis, Germany was a socialist state. Private ownership of the means of production existed in name only. All the substantive powers of ownership were exercised by the state.

As the result of expansion of the money supply to pay for rearmament, and the rise in prices that started to result, the Nazis imposed price and wage controls. Price and wage controls result in economic chaos.

To deal with the chaos, the Nazi state determined what was produced, in what quantity, by what methods, and to whom it was distributed. These controls, added to price and wage controls, constitute de facto socialism. Mises calls it “socialism on the German or Nazi pattern.”

For more, see my essay “Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian.” 99¢ at

The next day, I added the following:

Some differences between what Mises called socialism on the Russian or Bolshevik pattern and socialism on the German or Nazi pattern:

The Russian socialists, aka Communists, had 5-year plans. The German National Socialists, aka Nazis, had 4-year plans.

The Communists wore red shirts. The Nazis wore brown shirts.

The Communists primarily hated capitalists, many of whom were Jews.

The Nazis primarily hated Jews, many of whom were capitalists.

The Communists urge class war. The Nazis urge race war.

While the differences between Communists and Nazis are superficial, their similarities are fundamental:

Both deny the universal applicability of the laws of logic and claim that different classes/races have different logics, what Mises calls polylogism. E.g., “proletarian logic” vs. “bourgeois logic”; “Aryan logic” vs. “Jewish logic.”

Both are lovers of force and violence, which is a logical consequence of their belief that there is no common logic on the basis of which people can reason with one another and thus settle disputes peacefully.

Both are collectivists, denying that the individual is an end in himself with a right to the pursuit of his own happiness, and believe instead that he is a means to the ends of society/state.

Both establish all-round government ownership of the means of production. The Communists, de jure and openly; the Nazis, de facto and surreptitiously. Thus, both are socialists in fact.