It is very common for history books and the media to classify Nazism as an "extreme right" movement.
The anti-capitalist discourse of nazism
That classification has led many leftists to crudely classify conservatives and even classical liberals as "nazis" simply because they are traditionally associated with the term "right," assuming, in this way, that they are more or less close to Nazism. What many leftists seem to ignore are the enormous similarities between what they defend and what Adolf Hitler proposed. Let's see some examples:
"The radical separation between stock market capital and the national economy offered the possibility of opposing the internationalization of the German economy, without at the same time compromising, in the struggle against capital, the basis of an autonomous national conservation. I anticipated the development of Germany too clearly, not to know that the most intense struggle should no longer be directed against the enemy peoples, but against international capital."
"The enlightened among our bourgeois politicians have already stopped mocking us; they themselves see today -as long as they are not deliberately distorting the truth- that the international capitalism of the Stock Market was not only the greatest instigator of the war, but also now, in the post- war, does not cease in its efforts to make peace hell."
[About Karl Marx] "His book “Capital” began to become understandable to me and also the struggle of social democracy against the national economy, a struggle that pursues no other objective than to prepare the ground for the hegemony of international capitalism".
What we have just read is not taken from any communist pamphlet: they are quotes from "Mein Kampf", the famous book written by Hitler that was published in 1925 and served as the ideological basis for his party. What one reads in those lines is the same anti-capitalist discourse that the Nazi Party applied while it existed.
A nationalist socialism that attracted many communists
In fact, many leftists make it obvious that the term "Nazi" is short for "National Socialist", which is what Hitler called his party (namely, it had such a non-right-wing name as "National Socialist German Workers' Party"). That word expressed the combination of two different ideologies: nationalism and socialism. Thus, Hitler's ideology was a nationalist socialism, unlike marxism, which is an internationalist socialism. The common denominator between these two franchises of socialism ended up serving as a bridge for many communists who ended up joining the Nazi Party, as we already saw here in 2020.
Hitler encouraged to recruit "precisely" far-left militants
In chapter twelve of the aforementioned book, Hitler clearly expressed his priority in attracting militants from the "extreme left":
"The fact that today millions of men intimately feel the desire for a radical change in existing conditions, proves the deep disappointment that prevails in them. Witnesses of this deep discontent are undoubtedly the indifferent in the electoral tournaments and also the many who are inclined to militate in the fanatical ranks of the extreme left. And it is precisely to these that our young movement has to turn, above all."
The Nazis recruited communists who came to crash their rallies
In the book, Hitler also points out the strategy that the nazis had adopted towards their communist adversaries, taking advantage of their calls to boycott their acts:
"The red color of our proclamations was already enough to attract them to the premises of our assemblies. The ordinary bourgeoisie was extremely indignant at the thought that we too had seized the red of the bolshevists, and believed that they saw something of a double meaning in this.
We had chosen the color red for our proclamations, after careful and deep reflection, seeking thereby to provoke those on the left, to make them fly into anger and thus induce them to attend our assemblies, if only with the intention of to bother us; but in this way they gave us the opportunity to make them listen to our word.
How amusing it was for us, in those years, to observe closely, in the continuous change of tactics of our adversaries, the disorientation and impotence that dominated them. Calls were addressed to the "class-conscious proletariat" inviting it to attend our assemblies en masse to crush the representatives of "monarchical and reactionary agitation" with a proletarian fist.
Our assemblies were full of workers and three quarters of an hour before they began. They resembled a barrel of gunpowder, capable of exploding at any moment, already having the fuse lit. But, the facts were always produced in another way. Those people entered as adversaries and left, if not convinced of our cause, at least imbued with a reflective and even critical spirit, regarding their own doctrine."
Such was the transfer of communist militants to the Nazi ranks that the German Communist Party (KPD) reacted by launching a nationalist discourse, a strategy called "Scheringer-Kurs", as we have already seen here, in an attempt to attract Nazi militants (including some communists who had changed parties). The KPD's strategy was less successful than that of the Nazi party recruiting communists. The coincidences between Nazis and communists continued to manifest themselves later, and had their maximum expression in the alliance between Hitler and Stalin to invade Poland, even with a joint German and Soviet parade to celebrate their victory over that Catholic and conservative country.
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