Communism and Nazism

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Communism and Nazism are totalitarian twins. Yet:

“Our horrified reflection on Nazism seems to even gain in breadth and depth each year.” On the other hand, Communism, “although still fresh and just recently fallen, benefits from an amnesia and an amnesty that receive the almost unanimous consent, not only of its supporters — because they still exist — but of its most determined enemies, and even its victims.” [1]

Liberals regard these as opposites of left and right, but Conservatives agree with Hannah Arendt that they belong at the same end of the political spectrum.

  • Communism redefined the political spectrum; first falsely attaching Nazism to capitalism, and later to fascism, to fit its propaganda needs, Communism always placed socialist Nazism on the far right, opposite socialist Communism on the far left. This Communist classification has become fixed in Western thought, with Communism on the left, liberal democracies and their left and right parties in the middle, and Nazism and other forms of fascism on the right. Besançon concludes that the correct classification, one proposed by Hannah Arendt earlier, groups the two totalitarian regimes of Communism and Nazism at one end, places liberal regimes in the middle, and groups authoritarian regimes at the other extreme. [2]