Communism and Nazism

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Walter Ulbricht speaking at a joint Nazi–Communist meeting in 1931; Goebbels is seated at the front left.
A Nazi NSBO member (left) and Communist RGO member (right) jointly picketing during the Berlin transport strike, organized by Ulbricht and Goebbels.

Communism and Nazism are totalitarian twins. However, according to scholar Alain Besançon regarding the general different perceptions of the two extremist ideologies:[1]

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.

—Alain Besançon, A Century of Horrors

Nazis vs. Communists is barely any different from Trotskyists vs. Stalinists. Leftism is a worldview that favors collectivism over individualism, where they live in a fantasy world where of 100% agreement among individuals. According to Ludwig von Mises, a renowned economist and historian who made the Austrian School of Economics, founded by Carl Menger in his image, the Nazis followed eight out of ten planks of the Communist Manifesto, except for planks one and three, which called for the abolition of private property and inheritance rights, although the Nazis did say that they were going to follow all ten planks. Benito Mussolini, whose philosophy was "Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, and nothing against the state", was a member of the Marxist Italian Socialist Party, but during World War I, the pro-war socialists split from the party and formed the Fascist Party. To understand the ideology of Mussolini and Italian Fascism better, one can examine The Fascist Manifesto of 1919, written in the Fascist Party newspaper The People by Mussolini himself.[2] For evidence that Hitler was a leftist, the twenty-five points of the NSDAP program provide firsthand primary source evidence.[3]

A Nazi German and Soviet Communist officer shake hands after their successful invasion of Poland in September 1939.

The Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, who headed the Marxist faction of the Nazi Party, stated, "We really are Communists. That is why we call ourselves a ‘worker’s party’."[Citation Needed] He also wrote a letter to the New York Times titled "Hitlerite Riot" in Berlin on November 28, 1925, shortly after Lenin died saying, "On the speaker’s assertion that Lenin was the greatest man, second only to Hitler, and that the difference between communism and the Hitler faith was very slight."[4] The difference he was referring to was Nazism's opposition to internationalism, something that Hitler believed was un-German. Communism in theory is internationalist, but in reality, it is nationalist. Except for international socialists Lenin and his right-hand man Leon Trotsky, all other Communist heads of state were nationalistic socialists because nationalism helped them promote loyalty to their government/state. That is why nationalism and socialism are allies, not rivals, and also defines the difference between Trotskyism, which is internationalist, and Stalinism, which is patriotic and has the idea of socialism in one country. In addition, the Nazi flag's predominantly red color was due to them being reused from the red flags of the Communist Party of Germany.

Nazism and communism are identical in the amount of power government exercises over its people.

Although Communists insist that they are anti-Nazi, during the 1932 Berlin transport strike, their paramilitary and working-class forces formed an alliance with that of Nazis,[5] often holding hands and resisting police officers side-by-side.[6] The strike carried the effect of drawing working-class blocs in Berlin, which usually supported the Social Democratic Party (SPD), towards the Communist Party, in the November election (the SPD leadership denounced the strike).[7] The Social Democrats lost their coalition control of the Weimar government, and the Nazis soon harassed and intimidated their way to power.[8] In the wake of the transport strike, the bourgeois-aligned press designated the Nazis, who participated in the strike and picketing alongside the Communists, as "Bolsheviks."[9][10]

Liberals regard these as opposites of left and right, though 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.[1]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Arch T. Allen (August 2007). Nazism and Communism: Twin Evils, Different Memories. Metro Magazine via Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  2. Italian Fascist Manifesto. Scribd.
  3. Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume IV Document No. 1708-PS. Lillian Goldman Law Library.
  4. Quote in The New York Times, Hitlerite Riot in Berlin: Beer Glasses Fly When Speaker Compares Hitler to Lenin, November 28, 1925 (Goebbels' speech Nov. 27, 1925)
  5. Suvorov, Viktor (2013). The Chief Culprit: Stalin's Grand Design to Start World War II. Google Books. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  6. James, C. L. R. (1937). World Revolution, 1917–1936: The Rise and Fall of the Communist International. Google Books. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  7. Seton-Watson, Hugh (1953). The Pattern of Communist Revolution: An Historical Analysis. Google Books. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  8. Moncure, Billy (September 28, 2018). How Communists in Germany Allied with Nazis to Destroy Democracy. War History Online. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  9. Bullock, Alan (1962). Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, pp. 229–32. Internet Archive. Retrieved December 15, 2022.
  10. McKenzie, John Richard Philip (1971). Weimar Germany, 1918-1933, p. 238. Google Books. Retrieved December 15, 2022.