MYTH: Conservatism is similar to nazism.
REALITY: The opposite is true. The philosophical and economical beliefs of conservatism are the opposite of nazism.
Conservatives support Moral Universalism,
Individualism, Judeo-Christian Values, Limited Government, Market Economy, Gun Rights, and Civil Liberties
Nazis supported Moral Nihilism,
Collectivism, No Judeo-Christian Values, Authoritarian Government, Command Economy, Gun Control, and Decreased Civil Liberties
If conservatism is the opposite of nazism, and conservatism is on the right side of the political spectrum, then wouldn’t nazism be on the left?
(Definitions, Breakdown of Nazi Beliefs, Explanations, and More Information are below)
Moral Universalism— a meta-ethical position that there is a universal ethic that applies to all people, regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexuality, or other distinguishing features. This universal ethic is present at times, with no exceptions. What’s interesting is that this definition could be summed up as All Lives Matter.
Individualism- a philosophical stance that advocates that personal freedom and rights of an individual should take precedence over the desire of the government or collective people. Individualism prevents an individual from being discriminated against or oppressed. Individualism is the opposite of totalitarianism and collectivism.
Judeo-Christian Values— the belief in the teachings of God and living by that message. An example would be the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments is a list of religious principles that are venerated in Judaism and Christianity. They include a divine order to honor God, the Sabbath, and your parents, as well as forbidding murder, stealing, envy, idol worship, blasphemy, and bearing false witness on others.
Gun Rights- the right to possess arms (often referred to as the right to bear arms) is a right for people to possess weapons (arms) for the preservation of life, liberty, and property.
Limited Government— the government only has those powers delegated to it by law. This means that the government’s control over the people is restricted by laws and the Constitution. Limited Government is the opposite of authoritarian government.
Market Economy— an economic system in which the decisions regarding investment, production, and distribution are guided by the price signals created by the forces of supply and demand. A market economy and a command economy are the opposite of each other.
Civil Liberties— individual rights that are granted to all citizens and protected by law. These personal freedoms include freedom of expression and the press, the right to public assembly, and the right of free association, as well as the right and protection of property.
Moral Nihilism— a meta-ethical position that nothing is morally right or wrong, which is the opposite of Moral Universalism.
Collectivism— a philosophical stance that puts precedence of the government or the collective people over an individual and their rights.
No Judeo-Christian Values— The opposite of Judeo-Christian values.
Authoritarian Government— the ruler of this government has absolute control over the government and collective people without being impeded by law. This means that the government’s control over the people isn’t restricted by laws or a Constitution. An authoritarian government is the opposite of a limited government.
Command Economy— commodity prices, interest rates, and wages are controlled by the government.
Gun Control— The regulation of the sale and ownership of a firearm.
Decreased Civil Liberties— the opposite of civil liberties. This means the government restricted or violated your rights.
WHERE DO CONSERVATIVE BELIEFS COME FROM?
Conservative beliefs stem from important figures like Edmund Burke, who’s the father of conservatism, Russell Kirk, Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Irving Babbitt, and John Locke.
The philosophical beliefs mostly come from Edmund Burke and Russell Kirk, while the economical beliefs mostly come from Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises.
BREAK DOWN OF NAZI BELIEFS: MORAL NIHILISM
Nazis supported Moral Nihilism. Some can say there were elements of Moral Relativism and Utilitarianism as well. But Moral Nihilism seems the most likely.
Hitler was a nihilist. Here’s a quote by Hitler, “Providence has ordained that I should be the greatest liberator of humanity. I am freeing man from the restraints of an intelligence that has taken charge, from the dirty and degrading self-mortification of a false vision called conscience and morality, and from the demands of a freedom and independence which only a very few can bear.” —Adolf Hitler
BREAK DOWN OF NAZI BELIEFS: COLLECTIVISM
Nazis supported Collectivism or Totalitarianism, again, that’s the opposite of Individualism. Hitler was a collectivist. He repeatedly talked about the collective success of the nation even at the cost of an individual.
Here’s a quote by Hitler, “It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his pride is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole; that pride and conceitedness, the feeling that the individual… is superior, so far from being merely laughable, involve great dangers for the existence of the community that is a nation; that above all the unity of a nation’s spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and the will of an individual; and that the higher interests involved in the life of the whole must here set the limits and lay down the duties of interests of the individual. … By this, we understand only the individual’s capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow men.” —Adolf Hitler speaking at Bueckeburg, Oct. 7, 1933; The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-39, ed. N.H. Baynes (2 vols., Oxford, 1942), I, 871-72; translation Professor George Reisman
The government didn’t protect the rights of Jewish citizens. As Alexis de Tocqueville said, “tyranny of the majority.”
Tyranny of the majority is not possible under the individualism that conservatives believe in.
BREAK DOWN OF NAZI BELIEFS: NO JUDEO-CHRISTIAN VALUES
Nazis fell more in line with secularism, materialism, and Social Darwinism.
According to Alan Bullock, “In Hitler’s eyes, Christianity was a religion fit only for slaves.” Alan Bullock is the author of Hitler, A Study in Tyranny,” a seminal biography.
Bullock states that Hitler, about Christianity, believed “Its teaching, he declared, was a rebellion against the natural law of selection by the struggle of the fittest.”
Bullock describes Hitler as a “rationalist and materialist” who hated the Catholic Church as much as he hated Jews.
Author Richard Weikart wrote a book in 2016 called, “Hitler’s Religion: The Twisted Beliefs That Drove the Third Reich, states, “the book will definitively lay to rest the myth that Hitler was a Christian. By examining in extreme detail Hitler’s writings, speeches, private conversations, and the testimony of his colleagues, he demonstrates that Hitler’s worldview was far more anti-Christian than Christian.” Richard Weikart is a professor of history at California State University, Stanislaus.
The author of Nazism’s religious ideology is Alfred Rosenberg, a man known for his hatred of Christianity. So one of the men responsible for creating the Nazi idealogy was adamantly anti-christian.
Paul Joseph Gabbles was the chief propagandist for the Nazi Party, and then Reich Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945. He was one of Hitler’s most devoted followers. Topics for party propaganda included attacks on the Christian churches. So, even their propaganda was extremely anti-christian.
According to the cataloged trial evidence by one of the leading United States investigators at the Nuremberg trial, General William J. Donovan, the Nazis planned to destroy German Christianity.
The top Nazi leaders believed that the church would get in the way of their world conquest. According to the report, the Christian church ”could not be reconciled with the principle of racism, with a foreign policy of unlimited aggressive warfare, or with a domestic policy involving the complete subservience of Church to State.”
Donovan described how top Nazi leaders like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, and Baldur von Schirach devised a plan to gradually eliminate Christianity throughout Germany, by infiltrating the church within, persecuting pastors, and indoctrinating its followers.
Nazi leaders planned ”a complete extirpation of Christianity and the substitution of a purely racial religion tailored to fit the needs of National Socialist policy.”
This was all part of “an integral part of the National Socialist scheme of world conquest.”
Creation magazine explained, “So they planned to infiltrate the churches from within; defame, arrest, assault or kill pastors; indoctrinate the congregations, and suppress denominational schools and youth organizations.”
Here’s a quote by Hitler, “The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science … Gradually the myths crumble. All that is left to prove that nature there is no frontier between the organic and inorganic. When understanding of the universe has become widespread, when the majority of men know that the stars are not sources of light, but worlds, perhaps inhabited worlds like ours, then the Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity.”
BREAK DOWN OF NAZI BELIEFS: AUTHORITARIAN GOVERNMENT
Authoritarian Government is the opposite of Limited Government. Hitler was authoritarian because he bypassed the Weimar Constitution.
In 1933, Germany adopted the Enabling Act, the Enabling Act allowed the Chancellor to bypass the system of checks and balances in the government and these laws could ignore individual rights prescribed in the Weimar Constitution.
Also, in 1933, Hitler persuaded Paul Von Hindenburg to enact the Reichstag Fire Decree. The decree removed many civil liberties of German citizens. It removed key civil liberties like freedom of speech, the right to assemble, the right to protest, and due process. With Nazis in powerful positions in the German government, the decree was used as the legal basis for the imprisonment of anyone considered to be an opponent of the Nazis. Government intrusion, individual rights being violated, and bypassing the constitution are the opposite of what Conservatives believe in which is a limited government.
BREAK DOWN OF NAZI BELIEFS: COMMAND ECONOMY
Nazi Germany had a command economy, where they dictated commodity prices, interest rates, and wages. They decided how much should be invested, produced, distributed, consumed, or stored. It was not based on supply and demand like it is with a market economy. This Nazi economic plan was the opposite of a market economy.
According to economist Otto Nathan, author of “Nazi War Finance and Banking”— “From the point of view of this study, the most important single change was the abolition of the traditional system of autonomous markets in which demand and supply meet, coordinating the eco-
nomic activities of millions of individuals. Despite the decline of competition and the growth of government intervention, no
single agency regulated the economy in pre-Nazi Germany in terms of a specific, well-defined purpose. The Nazi government substituted conscious, the overall direction of the economy for the autonomy of the market mechanism, and subordinated the economic system to
a predetermined objective, the creation of a war machine. A vast network of organizations was erected to embrace individuals, corporations, manufacturers, farmers, dealers, small businesses, and large businesses – in short, every factor of production, distribution, and consumption. By dominating this organizational structure through which orders could be issued to every businessman, and by insisting
upon strict obedience from all, the government obtained complete control over the economy. Commodity prices, interest rates, and wages were not only fixed by the government, but they lost completely their traditional significance as regulators of economic activity. The government decided and ordered what and how much should be invested, produced, distributed, consumed, or stored. A system of direct controls was substituted for the mechanism of prices which regulates economic activities indirectly in traditional capitalism. No institution in the economy remained unaffected by the fundamental change that German Fascism brought about.” (Nazi War Finance and Banking by Otto Nathan, April 1944, pages 2-3)
Otto Nathan was an economist and a socialist who escaped Nazi Germany when Hitler rose to power. He came to the United States where he served as an economist and advisor in the Roosevelt administration.
According to a 1987 New York Times article titled Dr. Otto Nathan, an economist”— “Dr. Nathan, who was born July 15, 1893, in Bigen, Germany, was an economic adviser to the Weimar Republic from 1920 to 1933. He served as a German delegate to the World Economic Conference in Geneva in 1927. With the rise of Hitler to power, Dr. Nathan fled to the United States, where he joined the faculty of Princeton University in the economics department.”
In 1941, similar to Otto Nathan, American economist Lewis Levitzki Lorwin, wrote— “It was also pointed out at the time that Germany was taking a long step from mere “pump-priming” using public works to an increasingly comprehensive “planned economy” of the totalitarian type. The Nazi Four-Year Plan was developing into a kind of general slogan intended to spur the nation’s economic energies. General Loeb, one of Goring’s principal assistants in the execution of the plan, pointed out that given the aims it pursued, the Plan could never be limited to a period of 4 years and that it rather incorporated the idea of national socialist economic leadership for the future generally. A German newspaper expressed the idea that planning was becoming a permanent feature of German economic life by referring to it as “Vierjahrsplan Ohne Ende (Four-Year Plan without end).” The trend toward more “planned economy” was interpreted to mean that the sphere of government interference and direct government activity in industry and commerce was bound to expand at the expense of the private business.” (Lewis Levitzki Corwin (1941). National Planning in Selected Countries, page 27)
BREAK DOWN OF NAZI BELIEFS: GUN CONTROL
The Nazis prevented anyone who they deemed an enemy of the state or potential enemy of the state from possessing a firearm.
According to Stephen P. Halbrook, “In 1931, Weimar authorities discovered plans for a Nazi takeover. In reaction to such threats, the government authorized the registration of all firearms and the confiscation thereof, if required for “public safety.” The interior minister warned that the records must not fall into the hands of any extremist group. In 1933, the ultimate extremist group, led by Adolf Hitler, seized power and used the records to identify, disarm, and attack political opponents and Jews.” (Stephen P. Halbrook is the author of “Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France: Tyranny and Resistance”)
Starting in 1935, Jews were prevented from acquiring weapon permits.
In 1938, the Nazis enacted the German Weapons Act, which lowered regulations for German citizens to acquire rifles but banned all handguns.
Starting on November 11th, 1938, the German government began the disarmament of any political enemy. All weapons were banned among Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and other enemies of the state. This included knives and ammunition.
In 1940, the Nazis invaded France. All Nazi-occupied territories in France had a complete firearm ban against French citizens. Nazi soldiers hung posters that stated that civilians had twenty-four hours to surrender their firearms or they would be shot.
Hitler didn’t want anyone who posed a threat to be armed. Here’s a quote from Hitler, “The most foolish mistake we could allow the subjugated races to possess arms.”
Conservatives believe owning a firearm is a right that’s guaranteed and protected by the constitution, a right that should be supported and respected by the government.
Here’s a quote from George Mason, the father of the bill of rights— “to disarm the people is the most effective way to enslave them.”
This of course was the whole purpose of the second amendment. The second amendment was created to prevent a tyrannical government.
Some critics claim that Nazi Germany didn’t have gun control, because much of the German citizenry, that were not deemed as a threat, were able to acquire rifles. Nazi Germany had a total citizen handgun ban, had a citizen firearm registry, and banned the possession of firearms from anyone who they deemed as a threat to the state— this is gun control. The Oxford definition of gun control is “the regulation of the sale and use of firearms.” If certain groups of people can not purchase or use firearms, then you are regulating the sale and use of firearms.
One thing that I want to address is the so-called fact-checkers stating that if Jews were armed it wouldn’t have made a difference, because they made up a very small percentage of the German population. There are two problems with that— number one, Jews were not the only ones disarmed. It was anyone who opposed the Nazi party. That means every individual who lost their “Civil Honors”, or who was under the supervision of the police, was disarmed.
Point number two is that it only takes one person to assassinate Hitler. So, out of all those people that opposed Hitler and lost their “Civil Honors”, any one of them could have stopped Hitler. Hitler significantly decreased those odds of being assassinated by disarming as many people who opposed him as possible. To prevent a tyrannical government you don’t have to take on the whole army, you just have to take out those in charge. This is something Hitler thought of.
BREAK DOWN OF NAZI BELIEFS: NO CIVIL LIBERTIES
As I stated before, Hitler and the Nazis bypassed the Weimar Constitution with the Enabling Act and the Reichstag Fire Decree. The Reichstag Fire Decree removed civil liberties like freedom of speech, the right to assemble, the right to protest, and due process.
ARE THERE ANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN CONSERVATIVES AND NAZIS?
Yes, supporting the military and nationalism. But if those two factors were the only criteria for being a nazi, then every world leader would be a nazi.
Important figures like Margaret Thatcher and Gandhi would be nazis for being nationalists. John F. Kennedy would be a nazi because he supported a stronger military. Franklin D. Roosevelt would also be a nazi, as well as every other President. Of course, none of that’s true. Nazis were totalitarian. They controlled everything. Nazis controlled or regulated firearm use, the economy, the media, speech, and rights. They are the ultimate form of big government that conservatives fear.
ARE NAZIS ON THE LEFT?
Some of you reading this might be wondering if the nazis lined up more with the left on the political spectrum. The answer is mixed.
During Hitler’s reign, nazis were adamantly against communism. They saw communism as a major threat to their rule.
That being said, there are some similarities between the nazis and the radical left today. According to various surveys, Democrats are more likely to support government censorship, gun control, a bigger government, and no religion.
According to a 2021 Pew Research survey, Democrats overwhelmingly support government censorship. “Today, 70% of Republicans say those freedoms should be protected, even it if means some false information is published. Nearly as many Democrats (65%) instead say the government should take steps to restrict false information, even if it means limiting freedom of information.”
According to an Economist/YouGov Poll from 2018, “73% of Democrats strongly support banning semi-automatic guns. These are most handguns and rifles. In addition, 58% of Democrats want stricter firearm regulations, compared to 14% of Republicans; and 24% of Democrats strongly support the removal of the 2nd Amendment, compared to 4% of Republicans.
According to a 2020 Pew Research survey, “About three-quarters of Republicans (74%) say they prefer a smaller government providing fewer services. A nearly identical share of Democrats (76%) say they prefer a bigger government providing more services. Among conservative Republicans, more than eight-in-ten (83%) prefer a smaller government that provides fewer services; an identical share of liberal Democrats prefer a larger government that provides more services.”
According to FiveThirtyEight, “In 2018, a record-high share (75 percent) of religiously unaffiliated voters supported Democratic candidates.”
These similarities can not be denied.
CONSERVATIVE BELIEFS SUMMARY
Conservatives are individualist that believes that the interests of the individual should take precedence over a community, state, or social group. Conservatives believe that morality is objective and ethics apply to all people and all situations regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexuality, or other distinguishing feature. Conservatives believe there should be a limited government in which the government only has those powers delegated to it by law. Conservatives believe in a market economy, which is an economic system in which the decisions regarding investment, production, and distribution are guided by the price signals created by the forces of supply and demand. Conservatives believe that all citizens should have civil liberties like freedom of expression and the press, the right to public assembly, and the right of free association, as well as the protection of property and the home. According to conservatives, the right to bear arms is the greatest defense against the forces of totalitarianism.
NAZI BELIEFS SUMMARY
Nazis were collectivists who believed that the success of their nation came before an individual’s life or personal freedom.
Nazis believed that morality was subjective and ethics didn’t apply to all people. Their government was a totalitarian government where Hitler had absolute control over the military, media, and government. The Nazi government had a command economy, where commodity prices, interest rates, and wages were fixed by the government. The Nazis removed many civil liberties in 1933 with the Reichstag Fire Decree, which removed many of the civil liberties granted under the Weimar constitution. Civil liberties like freedom of expression and the press, the right to public assembly, and the right of free association, as well as the protection of property and the home, were indefinitely suspended. Between 1933 to 1938 the Nazi party disarmed the Jews and other specific groups of people.
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