I think that one has to realize that nazism
meant different things to different nazis
In the early days, nazism
, was the belief that Germany had been stabbed in the back by traitors within the country, Jews, representing a
racially alien addition to German society that weakened it and that should be controlled and expunged. Stabbed in the back by profiteering
foreigners/aliens/subhumans/men in black hats. It was a xenophobic movement of mythmakers, trying to create an archtype or pattern that real
Germans could rally around in order to march as a people, out of the wilderness of military defeat/betrayal.
This was a salve to German war veterans and many of them were unemployed. They had rallied to fight together in war and now they rallied to carry on
the fight in a peacetime of defeat and privation.
morphed into the belief that a militant political party, largely composed of war veterans, would look out for the interests of
and help them to get their share of economic wealth by overturning the established economic order in a thoroughly socialist, egalitarian
manner. The Party began to pay its members, to publish its own newspaper and other publications and to build its own private army of ex-army
Ernst Rohm and the Brownshirts made up the largest percentage of Party members during this phase. They were almost all ex-army people who had fought
in WW1. They were social egalitarians who didn't like the monied classes and wanted to take what those people had, from them, by force.
These people were, after a time, brutally put down by Hitler and the SS leaders in the so-called Rohm Purge, and the Brownshirts were absorbed into
other military groupings in Germany, but undoubtedly they are responsible for the establishment of a pattern of caring, within the Party, for ordinary
workers. This pattern undoubtedly was a precursor to the enlightened attitude to labour, its compensation, working conditions, holidays etc., that
prevailed under the Hitler dictatorship, conditions and attitudes that were advanced for their time, in the world.
The defining vector
of the Party, had been set early, when Hitler had prevailed upon the very small group of Nazis who started the Party to
accept him as leader and to accept that he would be dominant in setting the agenda for the party. Despite what the socialist minded, revolutionary
Brownshirts might think, Hitler, the pragmatist was intent on gaining political power. The Munich Putsch had failed, so other means had to be
That meant political campaigning, which meant that the Party had to stress issues upon which most people could agree, such as the unfairness of the
Versailles Treaty and the country's economic difficulties. Deals had to be made with the people who did hold power in the country, the Army and the
economic oligarchs. The socialist radicals among the Brownshirts and the ideas they stood for had to go.
then became fascism
, a symbiosis of State and Capital, like the fascism of Italy.
also became Hitlerism
, the submission of a people to the absolute control of a mythologized leader. The "fuhrer principle" became
the prevailing ethos within the Party.
This stage was reached in a very calculating manner. Hitler was himself the first Hitlerist
. Allies along the way were dispensed with as soon
as they became obstacles to his ideas of what the Party and the country needed to do.
In its final stages Nazism
abandoned fascism and followed the mythologizing trend it had had from the beginning to the total destruction of
capital in a gigantic national funeral pyre.
had in the end, revealed itself as no more than a self-destructive psychopathological condition.
But that is really what it was in the very beginning. It could have veered off at any time into more constructive pathways, but for that to happen,
the leader would have had to have been removed.
edit on 13-4-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)