This is taken from a speech by Adolf Hitler, April 12, 1921:

There are only two possibilities in Germany; do not imagine that the people will forever go with the middle party, the party of compromises; one day it will turn to those who have most consistently foretold the coming ruin and have sought to dissociate themselves from it. And that party is either the Left: and then God help us! for it will lead us to complete destruction - to Bolshevism, or else it is a party of the Right which at the last, when the people is in utter despair, when it has lost all its spirit and has no longer any faith in anything, is determined for its part ruthlessly to seize the reins of power - that is the beginning of resistance of which I spoke a few minutes ago. Here, too, there can be no compromise - there are only two possibilities: either victory of the Aryan or annihilation of the Aryan and the victory of the Jew.

Doesn't that make it very clear that Hitler saw himself and his ideology as right-wing? Why do the right still insist that Hitler was inspired by the left - did Hitler's ideology evolve to become left-wing somehow later?

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    Can you give a quote/ source for your claim that the Right claims Hitler is left wing?
    – quarague
    Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 13:42
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    As to the claim being made, let's hear it from Breitbart itself, citing Rand Paul: “The 20th century really is the history of the failure of socialism, from Hitler’s Nazi or nationalist socialism to Stalin’s Bolshevik socialism to Mao’s socialism to Pol Pot. Really, time and time again, millions of people have died at the hands of despotic rulers,” Paul said. Every so often the claim pops again, including here. Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 20:40
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    Or... Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning : Replacing conveniently manufactured myths with surprising and enlightening research, Jonah Goldberg reminds us that the original fascists were really on the left, and that liberals from Woodrow Wilson to FDR to Hillary Clinton have advocated policies and principles remarkably similar to those of Hitler's National Socialism and Mussolini's Fascism. Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 20:45
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    @Obie2.0 I think that comment was trying to provide examples for such claims that could/should be added to the question (as requested by previous comments), it was not intended as an answer.
    – Hulk
    Commented Apr 7, 2023 at 10:43
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    The answers below clearly demonstrate why such questions should be closed. The OP invites debate and (through the HNQ mechanism) gets it. Lots of people pile in to prove the OP is wrong. And then lots more people pile in to prove that the the people proving the OP wrong are wrong and the whole thing descends into debate. This question should be closed. Please vote to close this bad question.
    – James K
    Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 21:35

15 Answers 15


The right claim that Hitler was left-wing to make its political enemies on the left look worse than they really are.

There are plenty of examples of left-wing ideologies leading to unpleasant outcomes: USSR, China, Cambodia, to name just a few. With Nazi Germany labeled as left-wing as well, the right achieve an amazing intellectual feat: all the major oppressive regimes of the 20th century look like they were the fault of the left!

Needless to say, the reality of Nazi Germany is that the Nazi ideology was mostly right-wing, with some elements of left-wing in the mix:

The majority of scholars identify Nazism in both theory and practice as a form of far-right politics. Far-right themes in Nazism include the argument that superior people have a right to dominate other people and purge society of supposed inferior elements. Adolf Hitler and other proponents denied that Nazism was either left-wing or right-wing: instead, they officially portrayed Nazism as a syncretic movement.

See also:

[Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf"] has also been studied as a work on political theory. For example, Hitler announces his hatred of what he believed to be the world's two evils: communism and Judaism.

In the book, Hitler blamed Germany's chief woes on the parliament of the Weimar Republic, the Jews, and Social Democrats, as well as Marxists, though he believed that Marxists, Social Democrats, and the parliament were all working for Jewish interests.

Mein Kampf - Wikipedia

Herewith we come to the effect, if not the point, of the revisionist exposition: it is not only to transfer the stigma of the Second World War's genocidal violence from the right to the left, so that criticisms of racialized populism can be dismissed as "leftist fascism." It is also to suggest that the war was a crusade against state collectivism of all types - including the welfare state for which many Westerners, in fact, fought. They reason by means of a simplistic, ahistorical syllogism: since socialism is statism/collectivism (like public health and public transport), and Nazism was statist/collectivist (and promoted public health and public transport), social democratic public health and public transport measures must be fascist.

Matthew Fitzpatrick and A. Dirk Moses "Nazism, socialism and the falsification of history". ABC Religion & Ethics, posted 19 Aug 201819 Aug 2018, updated 10 Sep 2018


It really depends on what axis you are labeling "Left" and "Right".

If the axis you are labeling is the same axis that Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism sit on (the economic control axis), then Socialism, and Communism which are considered "Left Wing" ideologies include extremely strong government control of the economy. Say that all economic activity needs to be controlled by the government for the betterment of society.

Fascism and Nazism (which are different btw) allow business to remain independent, as long as they do what the government tells them to do, for the betterment of society. Which sounds pretty similar to Socialism/Communism...

Capitalism "Right wing" lets business do whatever they want as long as they don't break the law for their own betterment, or in other words support economic freedom.

This puts Nazism, Fascism, Socialism, and Communism very close to each other economically, because all are proponents of a centrally controlled economy. As opposed to Capitalism which supports individuals making their own economic decisions. This makes Nazism and Fascism economically left wing.

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    "I tell German industry for example, “You have to produce such and such now.” I then return to this in the Four-Year Plan. If German industry were to answer me, “We are not able to”, then I would say to it, “Fine, then I will take that over myself, but it must be done.” But if industry tells me, “We will do that”, then I am very glad that I do not need to take that on." - Hitler
    – Questor
    Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 21:51
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    It depends on how you define control over businesses.. Did Hitler take direct control of businesses? While, yeah he did. He took over the steel industry because the German steel industrialists did not do as he directed. But so long as you did what he told you to do, and remembered that he was in charge you were free to run your business.
    – Questor
    Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 21:55
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    @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica Albert Speer's "Inside the Third Reich" tells one (biased) tale of how things were run in Nazi Germany. IIRC Speer led a council that determined what private businesses would produce and what resources would be provided to them. I don't know if you can call it socialism, but it seems far closer to it than pure capitalism. Right and Left are derived from who sat where in the first national convention of the French Revolution, they are very simplistic and misleading terms that should be eliminated for clarity of communication. Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 22:15
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    Yes, but part of the problem is your insistence that only left wing policies would control businesses. But, you could very well have crony capitalism. A good example of that would be China, which is much more totalitarian than communist these days. Reality is any coercive government, be they coercive from a left or right PoV may very well choose to meddle with businesses. Besides, when you go sufficiently Far Right you usually end up not far from Far Left, illiberalism tends to end up with the same "solutions". Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 23:02
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    If a government is controlling the economy.. Then it has a leftist economic policy. Your claim here is an association fallacy. "All Communists coerce the economy" (True) "Nazis coerced the economy" (Somewhat True, but let's even say you're correct). "Therefore Nazis are Communists". As a counterexample, France was long plagued by Colbertisme, which also involves economic control (picking winners and losers to make "national champions"). I can assure you, that policy is not based on a left PoV. Commented Apr 7, 2023 at 16:32

Because from the point of view of those saying that Hitler was left wing, usually Americans, he was.

Left-wing has no one definition but for American conservatives it can be defined along several axes:

  1. Economic
  2. Religious
  3. Statist

These are the 3 that US conservatives care about.

On the economic axis, the Nazis were full on socialist before the Night of the Long Knives and the purge of Ernst Röhm and then moderately socialist, like modern European social democratic parties, afterwards. E.g. the KDF workers program.

On the social axis, the Nazis disdained Christianity (very big no-no to the American right) and had plans to eventually get rid of the "Slave Christ" and institute Aryan neo-paganism.

On the statist front, it's self-explanatory, the Nazis were very statist.

So for the 3 axes along which "left-wingedness" are judged in US politics, the Nazis were: Left of center, Far left and Far left.

Other axis, like racism and antisemitism aren't in the picture, because those are outside the pale in mainstream US politics, for both parties, e.g. the Republicans always boasting the Lincoln was a Republican and how much they support Israel.

For the modern American left, the definitions are different, with the social axis being supreme, so you can be a "Woke Capitalist"(loaded term, I know but it's the most succinct) still consider yourself left-wing, because you heavily support trans rights, etc. but still actively union-bust, like the CEO of Starbucks.

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    Thank you for the first answer that is both correct and doesn't act like half the political spectrum is delusional or in need of correction. Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 7:20
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    I think it's worthwhile to note that there are two sides to economic policy: control of business, and ownership of wealth; from what I understand, the Nazis were content to let the wealthy stay wealthy, and in that respect could be characterized as "right wing". Though I suspect that the real philosophical difference between Hitler and Stalin was simply that Hitler thought Hitler should rule 100% of everything, while Stalin thought Stalin should rule 100% of everything. Any apparent ideological differences would have been based upon pragmetic concessions necessary to achieve that.
    – supercat
    Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 14:55
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    @supercat that's why I said that on economics, the Nazis under Hitler(again, after purging Röhm, who was for nationalizing big business) were like modern European moderate socialists, not extreme, but definitely left-wing by American standards.
    – Eugene
    Commented Apr 9, 2023 at 4:41
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    @supercat which Democrats, American ones? The Nazis were for business paying their "fair share" in higher taxes and treating their(Aryan, untermensch were to be treated altogether differently) workers well, more so than the mainstream of the Democrats today.
    – Eugene
    Commented Apr 10, 2023 at 16:13
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    @supercat Italy an Germany being lumped together as "fascist" is an artifact of communists, the USSR specifically, hating National Socialism and needing another name for it that didn't have socialism in it. The 2 movements were at each throats for most of their existence. E.g. in Austria, the ruling Austro-Fascists, explicitly modelled on Italian fascism, hated the local Nazis and heavily persecuted them. Mussolini formed the anti-German Stresa Front in 1935 and threatened Hitler with war to protect Austria.
    – Eugene
    Commented Apr 10, 2023 at 17:49

Hitler's party was known as National Socialist German Workers' Party. There is indeed Left-wing branding in this name, as well as Right.

Some conservatives point out that Hitler, even though being far-Right, nevertheless was arguably in the Progressive camp at the moment, by adopting worker and socialist rhetoric and by not aligning with monarchy and/or Christianity. Calling Hitler Left is a sort of in-joke, but it highlights the fact there's more than one political axis.

  • Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on Politics Meta, or in Politics Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – Philipp
    Commented Apr 16, 2023 at 15:53

One of the defining features of nationalism — be it Hitler's National Socialism, present-day Christian or White nationalism in the US, or any other form — is that they are obsessed with appearances to the exclusion of facts. Orwell referred to it as a culture of 'competitive prestige', in which the primary (if not sole) aim is to make one's own group appear better than other groups (or conversely make other groups appear worse than one's own group).

In this framework, it absolutely does not matter what terms like 'fascism' or names like 'Hitler' refer to in reality. What matters to nationalists is that 'fascism' and 'Hitler' currently have negative valence — they are derogatory, not complimentary — and thus must necessarily be applied to other groups. In other words, the logic (such as it is) is as follows:

  • Our group is good, by definition
  • Hitler/fascism is bad, by cultural valuation
  • Therefore, Hitler/fascism do not belong to our group

Nationalism is Rightist as a matter of pragmatics — it always arises from radical conservatism - and thus (QED) all negative valuations must (for it) be functions of the left. Thus Hitler and fascism (which are culturally bad) are proclaimed as leftist. And of course, if Hitler/fascism ever regain a positive cultural valuation (as we see in some small ultra-nationalist sects) nationalists will happily embrace them once again.

There's no point arguing 'facts' with people who are fixated on 'prestige'. They will never accept facts that make them look bad.

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    There's just one fatal flaw in this answer. The word "nationalism" in the first sentence should be "politics". That feature is no more or less associated with nationalism than any other political movement.
    – Ben Voigt
    Commented Apr 7, 2023 at 22:23
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    @BenVoigt: Fortunately for all of us, that's not true. I mean, from from within the worldview of a nationalist that appears to be true — as noted, nationalists are obsessed with competitive prestige, and cast all political activity is in that light — but there is a whole world of political activity that has little or nothing to do with group prestige. Most politics is governance, nothing more. Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 1:04
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    -1, specifically for Nationalism is Rightist as a matter of pragmatics — it always arises from radical conservatism. Like the other answer that lazily generalizes that all economic coercion must be Left, this answer states that any nationalism must be Right. This conveniently excludes all sorts of other nationalisms, such as South American nationalism like Argentina's or Cuba's. Or China, which is well known for its strident (non-White, btw) nationalism. The world is complicated, stripping it to cliches aimed to make one's group look good and others bad is inaccurate. Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 19:53
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    I have to agree with @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica; you are conflating nationalism with the political Right. While it is true that currently the Right is burdened with more than its fair share of nationalists, that has not always been the case (and, due to the whole Trump fiasco, probably won't be for too much longer; nationalists are increasingly splitting off from mainstream conservatism to do their own thing). What you said is equivalent to saying that everybody on the Left wants to legalize hard drugs, LGBTQIA+, and pedophilia (excuse me, "minor-attracted persons"). Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 20:02
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica: First let me note that I always enjoy your comments. Aside from your (understandable) annoyance at my attitude you make interesting points. At any rate, I follow Orwell's definition of nationalism, and he does allow for left-wing nationalism. However, it strikes me that nationalism always has a retrogressive element. Nationalism rarely has a clear 'forward' programme, but focuses instead on anathema: people, ideas, laws and policies, etc that must be suppressed, controlled, removed, or extirpated. That 'retro' moment is invariably a facet of conservative thought. Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 23:06

I think they would say that socialism is a left-wing ideology, that national socialism is a form of socialism, and therefore, that Hitler being a national socialist was left-wing.

Note: This answer is as shallow as the claim in question, and I will leave the debunking of this argument to others, but I think the above coarsely represents the train of thought leading to the given claim.


The National Socialist German Worker's Party was socialist to the same extent that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (aka North Korea) is democratic.

Nobody so far has mentioned the Night of the Long Knives, which I think has some bearing.

Leading members of the leftist-leaning Strasserist faction of the Nazi Party, including its leader Gregor Strasser, were also killed, as were establishment conservatives and anti-Nazis, such as former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher and Bavarian politician Gustav Ritter von Kahr, who had helped suppress Hitler's Munich Beer Hall Putsch in 1923.

There certainly were left-ish Nazis up to the middle of 1934--see Strasserism--but the party then aligned itself more with business and the military. As others have written, a speech from 1921 (when Hitler was shopping around for an ideology that would attract support) doesn't necessarily indicate his position once he was in power.

Wikipedia gives some key dates from the Holocaust:

After the passing of the Enabling Act on 24 March, ... the government began isolating Jews from civil society; this included boycotting Jewish businesses in April 1933 and enacting the Nuremberg Laws in September 1935. On 9–10 November 1938, eight months after Germany annexed Austria, Jewish businesses and other buildings were ransacked or set on fire throughout Germany and Austria on what became known as Kristallnacht...

Notice that the systematic mass murder of European Jews (as distinct from anti-Semitic violence including casual murder), and the invasion of Germany's neighbours did not begin until after the purge of left-wing Nazis.


Because they do zero actual research on what his policies actually were.

While it is true that the so-called National Socialist policies espoused by Hitler would be considered left-wing today, the truth of the matter is that the man was nothing more than a populist who was willing to tell people whatever they wanted to hear in order to grow his power base. And once he had obtained the power he desired, he was quick to discard policies and people he'd used to get there if they were no longer useful.

This is most aptly illustrated by the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler's purge of the Nazi Party, where some of the most significant victims were:

  • Gregor Strasser, one of the men Hitler had partnered with in 1920. Strasser was an anti-capitalist whose organisational skills helped to take the Nazi Party from an insignificant faction to a nationwide powerhouse. However by 1930 his increasing left-wing tendencies were becoming a threat to the Nazi Party's authoritarianism and once Hitler became Chancellor, he no longer had a use for Strasser.
  • Ernst Röhm was the leader of the extreme right-wing Sturmabteilung (SA, "Storm Units") of the Nazi Party, the so-called "brownshirts" responsible for the political violence that equally assisted the Nazis' climb to power. With the Chancellorship in Hitler's grip, Röhm ceased to be an asset and instead became a potential rival, and so he too was eliminated.

The above illustrates that Hitler had no qualms about working with anyone from any end of the political spectrum, as long as they allowed him to further his own goals.

In short, Hitler should not be judged by his carefully crafted words, because they absolutely were crafted. He built a fiction that allowed people to believe in him and what he promised, and once that fiction was no longer useful he discarded it and built the next. It is his actions that define him, and those clearly demonstrate that the only policy he truly believed in was accumulating personal power. And we have a name for that: totalitarianism.


Hitler is the historical bad guy.

Sure, there have been many other warmongers and mass murderers. But there are Russians today who praise Joseph Stalin for turning the Soviet Union from an agricultural backwater to an industrial an military superpower. There are Chinese people who similarly praise Mao Zedong for modernizing China. The atrocities they committed are either overlooked in the name of national pride, or dismissed as exaggerated by Western propaganda.

But Hitler is pretty much uniquely infamous, being viewed negatively throughout the world (including in his Austrian/German homeland), and by mainstream political parties both left and right. Saying positive things about Hitler, whether you're a politician, or an entertainer like Kanye West, is an instant career killer.

Hence, it's in any ideology's rhetorical advantage to claim “we're not like Hitler; the other guys are like Hitler.” It's a cliche of political debate on the internet that every discussion eventually turns into “everyone I don't like is Hitler.” So, just as left-wingers want to say that Hitler was right-wing, right-wingers want to say that Hitler was left-wing. The association with Hitler matters more than the Nazi's actual policies.

The claim isn't entirely wrong.

In very simplified terms, Nazi ideology was focused on promoting the interests of “the master race”, whereas leftists tend to see themselves as advocating for “marginalized”. In this view, the Nazis were right-wing by definition.

However, the conflict between “oppressor” and “oppressed” is not the only possible way to classify a political spectrum. Libertarians, for example, tend to view politics along an individualism-versus-statism axis, regardless of what types of laws the state is enforcing, or for whose benefit. Moreover, “left” and “right” are not well-defined terms in the first place, and the specific policies they represent differ between countries and between time periods. And sometimes, a party will sacrifice ideological purity for the sake of political expediency.

Thus, it's often possible to find elements of left-wing politics in a generally right-wing political party (or vice-versa).

Before I continue, I feel the need to make some disclaimers. I am not claiming that Hitler was left-wing, nor that any particular left-wing party would support Hitler. I fully realize that my examples are cherry-picked to be one-sided. That's because the question is one-sided: “Why do the right claim that Hitler was left-wing?”, not “Was Hitler left-wing or right-wing?” If you want counterarguments that Hitler was right-wing, you can easily find them.

That being said, here are “leftist” elements of the Nazi plaform:

  • Strong state control over social welfare programs. They hated the Weimar Republic's implementation of it for helping “the wrong people”, but once the Nazis had the ability to apply racially and socially restrictive criteria, they were quite willing to use socialist policies to promote their ideology. This 1934 propaganda poster advertises national health, national community, child protection, protection of mothers, and care for travelers, which wouldn't be out of place for a left-wing party.
  • Frequent rhetoric against “capitalists”. (However, much of this was really about perceived American/British imperialism or Jewish control of capitalism [while also controlling communism!] than about capitalism per se.) For example,
    • “The Communists were not alone responsible for the collapse of our Reich. The capitalists played a part as well.” (Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf)
    • “The capitalist system has proved to be a failure. It has brought the world to the brink of ruin. We need a new system, a system based on the principle of the common good.” (Joseph Goebbels, 1927)
    • “Capitalism is dead. It has been destroyed by its own contradictions. The future belongs to the working class, to the National Socialists who will create a new, better society.” (Joseph Goebbels, 1932)
    • “The capitalists have no nation, no fatherland. They are cosmopolitans who care only about profits, and they will sell out their own people to the highest bidder.” (Adolf Hitler, 1934)
  • Banning Jews from owning guns. This is a favorite talking point of gun-rights activists. (Example) OTOH, the Nazis relaxed gun control laws for “Aryans”, e.g., by exempting long guns from the Weimar restrictions, and lowering the legal purchase age from 20 to 18.
  • Promotion of abortion as a “solution” to disabilities or genetic diseases. (OTOH, abortion was a felony for healthy “Aryan” women pregnant with a healthy “Aryan” child. The issue wasn't perceived as a matter of “women's rights” versus the sanctity of life, but as propagation of versus injury to the German race.)

Because Hitler himself claimed to be a socialist

"Ich bin Sozialist, weil es mir unverständlich erscheint, eine Maschine mit Sorgfalt zu pflegen und zu behandeln, aber den edelsten Vertreter der Arbeit, den Menschen selbst verkommen zu lassen. " Adolf Hitler

Translated: I'm a socialist, because it is impossible for me to understand how to take care of a machine while letting the most noble representative of work - the human being - deteriorate.

Quelle: Urkunden und Aktenstücke zur inneren und äußeren Politik des Deutschen Reiches in vier Bänden Herausgegeben von Dr. Johannes Hohlfeld S.465

Original source


This needs to be taken in context of the world in the 1930s, and the world in the 2020s, rather than simply taking it at face value.

Please be aware that I am explaining the views that are being expressed by prominent groups, and the reasons for them.

I am not endorsing them as being correct, or historically accurate.

Many of Hitler's social and economic policies more closely follow the policies of left of center parties such as the Democrats in the US and Labor in the UK than they do right of center parties such as the Republicans and the Conservatives.

For example, Hitler supported state ownership of industry, state control of the education system and state management of the economy.

Nazi economic, social and racial policy

Hitler also (initially) supported organized labor movements as part of his push for greater productivity, though he later took direct control in a similar way to how this was done under Communism (further fueling claims that they were a left wing movement).

Nazi economic, social and racial policy

The Nazi had top down\centralized approach to education in which a uniform standard was to be imposed by the state. Individual schools had little choice and parents had no choice.

Nazi economic, social and racial policy

In contrast, the right of center in the 2020s (Republican\Conservative) view is that all of these things should be deregulated and allowed to find their own level based on free market principles.

  • Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on Politics Meta, or in Politics Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – Philipp
    Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 20:59

One of the issues the Nazis/Hitler had with the Jews where their role in the economy - they were an integral part of the market economy as bankers, lawyers etc - and the Nazis didn't like market economy as a concept (partially because they thought it was Jewish concept) (although they co-operated with "big business"), which they have in common with socialists/the left.

Use the political compass with its two dimensions rather than a one dimensional left-right-scale:

enter image description here

The horizontal scale could also be described as "laissez-faire" to "planned economy" while the vertical scale concerns personal freedom. The Nazis were closer to planned economy than laissez-faire (they wanted to economy to work for the state, while laissez-faire doesn't think the economy has any duties to anyone at all. If it happens to strengthen the state it is not more desirable than if it happens to weaken the state. Hitler clearly wouldn't agreed with that.)

Obviously the left will end up on the left side here, but the Nazis will be a bit on the left, partially because they absolutely not belong to the right, and at the extreme top on the vertical scale, and this vertical position will they share with a lot of very left wing politicians, (e.g., Stalin, Mao).

Furthermore, there aren't that many examples of the combination of high degree of economic freedom and low degree of personal freedom (Neither today's China's nor Chile under Pinochet's economy are particularly free if you compare with countries that rank high on economic freedom. Both China and Chile are/were much freer than they used to be, so they are relatively free compared to their own history, but not free in the absolute sense of the word.)

To conclude: Nazi economy wasn't free, a property they have/had in common with almost all left wing policies/politics. Furthermore, personal freedom in Nazi-Germany was very low, a property the nazi-society had in common with the basically all the most important "left wing"-leaders in the 20th century. Meanwhile, the nazis had very few points in common with typical/the most influential right wing leaders (e.g., Churchill or Reagan) during the 20th century. So partially due to who the nazis had the most in common with, partially due to exclusion method, you end up with the nazis being a left wing moment.

Addendum: Hitler looked up to Mussolini basically until the war begun and the Italians less than stellar performance. And Mussolini started as a communist/socialist and considered his own movement as a development of socialism, that is, left wing. With Hitler's personality in mind, it is quite far fetched to think that he would consider himself right wing while at the same time look up to a outspoken left wing politician!

  • Hitler also hated the Jews for Bolshevism... Which I wouldn't rank as left either, but you would have placed that as left so ... yeah primarily he was an antisemite and economics was more instrumental than ideological and as he started wars an invasions pretty early on the economy was transformed according to that, which often looks alike regardless of what countries think about economics outside of war. Also Austrian school philosopher Mises still praised Mussolini for his fight against socialism...
    – haxor789
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 13:47
  • Btw: "The left–right political spectrum is a system of classifying political positions, ideologies and parties, with emphasis placed upon issues of social equality and social hierarchy." seems to be a better left/right distinction en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left%E2%80%93right_political_spectrum
    – haxor789
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 13:48
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    Bolshevism isn't left?? Source for Mises and Mussoline
    – d-b
    Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 17:46
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – haxor789
    Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 23:25

In the United States, the German Nazi movement was associated with left-wing politics because Hitler admired American progressive eugenicists and environmentalists. The American left produced policy and propaganda for the Third Reich and pioneered the eugenics movement of the 20th century. It was in Nazi Germany where these ideas were put into action.

William Henry Fairfield Osborn was the founder of the American Eugenics Society, Head of the New York Zoological Society, on the board of trustees of the American Museum of Natural History, and one of the early collaborators of the Sierra Club. He and a man named Madison Grant published a report called The Passing of the Great Race detailing the threat to white race and national identity in the US from Native Americans, African Americans, immigrants, Jews, and Muslims.

He worked alongside John Muir to establish National Park designations to round Native Americans off their land and confine them to reservations. He and John Muir believed that Native Americans and immigrants were destroying the land.

The Passing of the Great Race influenced Hitler so much, passages of the book were entered in trials as evidence at Nuremberg.

See Redwoods and Hitler: the link between nature conservation and the eugenics movement

Other American left-wing progressives also influenced Hitler. David Star Jordan was one of the early leaders of the Sierra Club and was very influential in the eugenics movement. He advocated for forced-sterilization programs that deprived tens of thousands of women of their right to bear children.

He is also a cofounder of the Human Betterment Foundation, who developed Nazi Germany’s eugenics legislation.

See Pulling Down Our Monuments

Also see Eugenics on the Farm: David Starr Jordan

The article you posted partially answered your question.

Hitler wanted to unite the left and the right to eliminate, what he believed to be, a threat to the existence of the Aryan race and National Identity by wealthy Jewish capitalists. He conglomerated the ideas of the Bolshevist left and the Bourgeois right and came up with National Socialism.

In the article you posted, talking about the right, Hitler wrote:

They ought day by day to din into the ears of the masses: 'We want to bury all the petty differences and to bring out into the light the big things, the things we have in common which bind us to one another. That should weld and fuse together those who have still a German heart and a love for their people in the fight against the common hereditary foe of all Aryans. How afterward we divide up this State, friends - we have no wish to dispute over that! The form of a State results from the essential character of a people, results from necessities which are so elementary and powerful that in time every individual will realize them without any disputation when once all Germany is united and free.

The article you posted also shows that Hitler followed socialist ideas and believed that Jews were wealthy capitalists who falsified the social idea and turned it into Marxism.

Again, talking about the Right, Hitler wrote:

And finally they all fail to understand that we must on principle free ourselves from any class standpoint. It is of course very easy to call out to those on the Left, 'You must not be proletarians, leave your class-madness,' while you yourselves continue to call yourself 'bourgeois.' They should learn that in a single State there is only one supreme citizen-right, one supreme citizen-honor, and that is the right and the honor of honest work. They should further learn that the social idea must be the essential foundation for any State, otherwise no State can permanently endure.

In the article you posted, Hitler later defined the "social idea" as the first of several "fundamental principles" that must guide the Third Reich.

"1. 'National' and 'social' are two identical conceptions. It was only the Jew who succeeded, through falsifying the social idea and turning it into Marxism, not only in divorcing the social idea from the national, but in actually representing them as utterly contradictory. That aim he has in fact achieved. At the founding of this Movement we formed the decision that we would give expression to this idea of ours of the identity of the two conceptions: despite all warnings, on the basis of what we had come to believe, on the basis of the sincerity of our will, we christened it 'National Socialist.' We said to ourselves that to be 'national' means above everything to act with a boundless and all-embracing love for the people and, if necessary, eve to die for it. And similarly to be 'social' means so to build up the State and the community of the people that every individual acts in the interest of the community of the people and must be to such an extent convinced of the goodness, of the honorable straightforwardness of this community of the people as to be ready to die for it.

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    Wanting to unite the left and right doesn't explain why people are claiming he was on the left. That would mean people would claim he is on both sides or neither.
    – Joe W
    Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 18:01
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    That is not the entire context of my answer. As stated above, in the United States, Nazi Germany is connected to the left wing because they were highly influential and the pioneers of eugenics throughout the 20th century. Left Wingers literally wrote the policy that established Hitler's eugenics programs which ushered millions of Jews to the gas chamber.
    – Kevin A
    Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 21:33
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    Leftwing people are downvoting sensible answers to this question because they don't want to hear them.
    – d-b
    Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 22:34
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    @d-b nor do they wish to debate the facts.
    – Kevin A
    Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 18:17
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    Could you elaborate on in what way the people you mentioned are 'leftists'? Commented Sep 7, 2023 at 17:34

If the "Right" include Nazis themselves, then those right-wingers very rarely claim to be left-wing.

The argument that "everything I don't like is left-wing" tends to come from a particular section of the Right: the right-wing liberal.

For these liberals, the salient characteristic of "left-wing" regimes is that the rich don't get to do as they please, and they don't get to constantly attack society as a whole to promote their personal enrichment.

From that perspective, the Hitler regime is not appreciably different from the Stalin regime, because regardless of other ideological differences, the crucial point is that businessmen under the Hitler regime had to do as they were told by Hitler for the perceived national good.

These regimes are also salient to the liberal because they frustrate and embarrass liberal regimes elsewhere. Stalin's regime sported enormous industrial development (far more effective than any free-market regime), whereas Hitler intended to pay for the development of Germany by militarily taking it out of the hide of his (capitalist liberal) neighbours.

Both regimes also controlled or frustrated the movement of economic capital, and terminated the parasitic effect of finance originating in other countries and jurisdiction-shopping by the rich, which frustrates one of the main tactics of the liberal which is to yoke different states or centres of governance into competition for capital.

So in my view, the accusation by the "Right" that "Hitler was left-wing" has to be put in this context. We're talking about accusations from a particular section of the Right - the liberal - and for them the characteristic of "left-wing" regimes is that they are economically illiberal in the style described above (without necessarily implying socialist or class-oriented politics).

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    "Stalin's regime sported enormous industrial development" No it didn't. fee.org/articles/… "far more effective than any free-market regime" Absolute and complete nonsense. rd.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9780230114319_3
    – user76284
    Commented Apr 7, 2023 at 20:03
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    What exactly is supposed to be "right-wing" about the liberals you have in mind? Also, I don't think there is a single person on Earth who would characterize their own political position as "I think the rich should be able to attack society as a whole simply because of their wealth, and others are evil for opposing that". Please try to show at least a little charity. The people you seem to have in mind absolutely would not conceive of the rich as "attacking society" by doing the things that they think the rich should continue being able to do (like, say, maintaining their wealth). Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 7:23
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    @KarlKnechtel, it may be that right-wing liberals wouldn't characterise their own position like that, but there is no requirement that own-positions be publicly characterised honestly, or at all. Think of Elon Musk who lauds free speech, then sacks people in his workforce who speak against him. According with my answer, the fact that the Nazis intend to govern the rich, and the fact that the Nazis draw support from mid and lower classes who are sick of the antisocial and ungoverned rich under liberalism, is what puts the Nazis in the same category as socialists, from the liberal point of view.
    – Steve
    Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 11:48
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    Rapid development is easy when you play catchup with more developed countries. C.f., Japan and West Germany after the war or China the last two decades. Russia was still faaar behind any Western European country with regards to economic or technological standard. One or two exceptions (e.g., Sputnik) don't change the general fact.
    – d-b
    Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 12:39

They follow the playbook of their intellectual forebearers.

Their political platform offers little to nothing for the majority so they need to obfuscate and mislead.

Blaming the left for everything wrong under the sun, gives them the initiative.

Anyone who would care to engage them in dialogue, would have to tackle this preposterous claim first.

However, there is a catch: trying to prove that it isn't actually the case, to someone who really doesn't care about truth or logical arguments, is an impossible feat.

You simply cannot explain away malevolence.

Usually the burden of proof should fall on the party forwarding a claim, not to the other party involved.

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