Were German Nazis of the Left or Right: “What difference…does it make?”

I’m in the middle of my second reading of Whittaker Chambers’ Witness, 1951. From page 245:

Stalin was about to take another step in his gradual conquest of absolute power. By a guileful alliance with the right wing of the Communist Party, he had destroyed Trotsky.

When someone asserts—I see it often—“Nazis are…on the left…National SOCIALIST…”, I think of two things: That a comparison is being made to some form of the present-day Left and that the sole justification for the assertion rests upon the appearance of the word “socialist” in the Nazi Party’s name, National-Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei. In the above quote, the use of “right wing” to describe an element of the Soviet Communist Party means that Chambers is not drawing an equivalence to the American right wing. In the same fashion, I know that drawing an equivalence between today’s socialist and the Nazi’s use of “-Sozialistische” can be a source of confusion.

Further, I know that Hitler carried the mantle of anti-communist and was not animated by Marxist theory in his rise to power. From historyplace.com

[Hitler] would make Germany strong again; end payment of war reparations to the Allies; tear up the treaty of Versailles; stamp out corruption; keep down Marxism; and deal harshly with the Jews.
He appealed to all classes of Germans. The name of the Nazi Party itself was deliberately all inclusive – the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

Returning to Whittaker Chambers’ Witness, from page 248:

I was about to witness the coming fascism to the American Communist Party, and the American Communists were probably the first group on this continent to whom it came.

From page 249:

The important point was not the character of Stalin, but the character of Communism, which, with an intuitive grasp that was at once the source of his strength and his mandate to power, Stalin was carrying to its inevitable development as the greatest of the fascist forms.

The three quotes from Witness indicate that Chambers is describing Stalin’s move toward “absolute power” as a move into fascism and to the right politically with respect to the existent Communist Party; and that he and it—in the end—were more fascistic than Hitler and the Nazis.

What can be said about the difference—and distance—between present-day Socialists and a fascistic form of Socialism—ignoring what label that may take? Would we assert that the latter form was of the left or the right? What can be said about the difference and distance between the Constitutional Conservative and the “kill-all-the-Liberals” form we that occupy the rabid, furthest right and is the explicit, putative obsession of the current American administration?

Would any person not of either extreme excuse the fascistic ways of those occupying their same side of the political spectrum simply because they are on the same “side” of the spectrum?

This is the reason I love to ask what difference does it make with respect to Hitler’s left-right designation and, particularly, in terms of modern definitions?

Hitler had such a “guileful alliance with the right wing” in Germany, the DNVP, in 1929.

A mere splinter party in 1928, the NSDAP became better known the following year when it formed an alliance with the DNVP to launch a plebiscite against the Young Plan on the issue of reparations. The DNVP’s leader, Alfred Hugenberg, owner of a large newspaper chain, considered Hitler’s spellbinding oratory a useful means of attracting votes. The DNVP-NSDAP union brought the NSDAP within the framework of a socially influential coalition of the antirepublican right.

Even short of that, I don’t know anyone who believes that Nazis were animated by Marxist theory when they chose to use “Sozialistische” in their name other than people of the far, fascistic form of the American Right who are desperate to distance themselves from an association with the most reviled regime known to people alive.

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