I’m in the middle of my second reading of Whittaker Chambers’ Witness, 1951. From page 245:
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
Returning to Whittaker Chambers’ Witness, from page 248:
From page 249:
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.
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.