The Nazis looked, acted and talked like socialists
A March 31 letter writer objected to my listing of the Nazis among socialists who devolved into tyrants (Letters, Marh 19), arguing that the Nazis hated socialists and therefore were not themselves socialists; “far from it,” he wrote.
First, socialists hating other socialists is quite common and hardly disqualifies either party from being socialists. Second, the word “Nazi” is short for National Socialist Workers Party. Clearly, they considered themselves socialists. Third, they nationalized major industries, created a one-party system, centralized power and claimed that they were freeing the workers from capitalists, who they considered Jews.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck — it’s a duck. They looked, acted and talked like socialists. They were socialists; however, much present day socialists would like to dodge the fact.
The real point of my letter was that centralizing politics, the economy, the military and demonizing a set of individuals as “enemies of the people,” all of which have been features of socialism, sets the stage for tyranny. There’s more aplenty of examples on every continent to confirm that. Let’s not do it here.