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The German word "Nazi" is extremely fashionable. It's used by media and by citizen. Like a major debate about "right radicals". Just for the protocol: I would call my a social liberal, so I don't think I am one of those wings.

I would like to know: are "Nazis" right or left wing? I thought that left means "more government" and right means liberal, so less government. Correct me if I am wrong.

Nationalsocialists were socialists (again, correct me if I am wrong). So I would say that they were left wing - Hitler build a huge government machine, instead of holding the government low (liberalism). So I would say that Nazis are left extremists? But that is just my idea, and I am really stupid, so therfor I am asking here :-)

Last but not least: could it be, that we use words like "nazi" or "right radical" wrong? That it's just a strong word we use so we don't have to discuss and use arguments? At least I automatically think, when I read words like "enemy" or "radical" or "nazi", that they are the pure evil and "we can't discuss with them". I would say that words like "nazi" or "radical" or "populist" are used wrong and are "has no meaning", like what Orwell said about Fascism last century:

“The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable"...In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning.”

― George Orwell, Essays

Hopefully you can help stupid me. Thank you very much in advance! Here the questions in list form:

  • Are Nazis left or right wing?
  • Do we (media/citizen) use words like radicalism, populism and nazi wrongly - so we don't have to argue for our standpoints?
  • Does those words become "pointless", like Orwell said about Fascism?
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    When the term 'nazi' is used, it's being used as pure meaningless hyperbole 99.9% of the time. – user1530 Sep 15 '15 at 16:25
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    Words are invented by humans and as humans change, so do the defiinition of words. But it may help to remember that: "The terms "left" and "right" appeared during the French Revolution of 1789 when members of the National Assembly divided into supporters of the king to the president's right and supporters of the revolution to his left." (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left%E2%80%93right_politics). – Bernard Masse Sep 15 '15 at 23:29
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    @Era - before throwing out adjectives like "ridiculous", a basic Google search to confirm your assumption helps. From the first page of the search: list of media bias evidence, including 9-1 political donations (which are the most sincere form of political identification; list #2 with tons of evidence – user4012 Mar 27 '17 at 21:33
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    This question is way too broad and opinion-based to be answerable here. Only the "Are Nazis left or right wing?" could theoretically be answered here, as long as it's backed up by solid evidence. The others are basically just open-ended discussion prompts (and, as can be seen from the answers, many people are just responding with whatever they wish to believe, regardless of whether it's actually supported by evidence). – V2Blast Feb 16 at 21:52
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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Feb 17 at 1:28
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  • You ask if Nazis are left or right wing, but left and right are themselves meaningless terms (see the 3rd bullet point), subject to the problem you yourself pointed out.
  • Yes, absolutely these words are used wrongly, and sometimes so used to obfuscate real ideological divisions, as Orwell pointed out in both his fiction and non-fiction.
  • Words are subjective, and as such they can be abused to the point that they are no longer useful in communicating ideas. Does that make them "pointless"? No, I don't think so, but it should cause us to be very deliberate in our communication around such matters and cause us to use more context so as to not put too much weight on the words themselves. And whereas words have defined meanings, we should attempt to stick with and return to those definitions whenever possible.
  • 1
    Here's another great general resource for economic terms and ideas, with a link directly to the article on fascism. econlib.org/library/Enc/Fascism.html – Eric H Sep 15 '15 at 18:10
  • I don't think it is meaningless. The general trend is the further left you go the more collectivist things become. where individual rights and means are subverted to achieve the aims of the collective and power is seen as more important than freedom. – user1450877 Aug 30 '16 at 13:36
  • Technically Nazism is not left or right, it is a type of Third Posistion(-ism). Neo-Nazi, on the other hand, are consider far-right isn Europe, although I do not think they have any kinds of policies in real politics. – Dylan Czenski Aug 31 '16 at 14:02
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    Nazism is far right wing. No and if's or buts about it. – Karlomanio Feb 20 at 15:37
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    @EricH Nazism has traditionally been considered far-right in political science studies when I was taking classes. I am concerned that there is an attempt to desensitize Nazism and blame the left for all ideological evils. I am definitely on the same page in relation to the use of labels. They only serve to divide. Otherwise we need a big open forum to continue this discussion, which is very interesting, but this space is not adequate for it. – Karlomanio Feb 22 at 15:17
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I would like to know: are "Nazis" right or left wing? I thought that left means "more government" and right means liberal, so less government.

No, just no.
That one-dimensional view of Right and left is just too simplistic.

People who're described as left-wing are generally in favor of the welfare-state. People who are described as right wing are generally in favor of a big military and intelligence community.

So both are for more government.

Anarchists are left-wing. Whether historically or by their own calling. They don't want no hierarchies (so no state) at all.
Libertarians are generally considered right-wing - for example they align more often with the GOP. They want only a bare-minimum state.

So both are also for less government?

The USSR tried to implement communism in the real world and was a dictatorship with state-control of the production. The anarchists factions in the Spanish Civil War, well, they were anarchists (and fought against USSR sponsored troops).
Nazi Germany was a dictatorship with some control over what was produced. Chile's Pinochet was also a right-wing dictatorship but tried to come really close to a truly free market.

Why is that the case? Political ideas are generally too complex to either boil down to "I really like the state" or "States are icky".
And even if you take the time to compare them on multiple axis, there are the definition problems.

Libertarians and Socialists both claim that they want to improve equality. They want to do this via different means - so one could think one of those would be wrong* but they actually mean different things.
Socialists want to improve equality of outcome for example by redistribution.
Libertarians want to improve equality of opportunities for example by reducing barriers to market entry.

* It's the libertarians

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    "People who're described as left-wing are generally in favor of the welfare-state. People who are described as right wing are generally in favor of a big military and intelligence community." I disagree. The most elegant way I can think of describing left and right, true to the origins of the terms in the French parliament, and general enough to apply to all relevant circumstance, is that the left are progressives in favour of egalitarianism, and the right are traditionalists in favour of the status quo. – inappropriateCode Aug 29 '16 at 16:49
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    Also seems somewhat of a fatal misunderstanding to say America's capitalist-libertarians want equality. They want freedom, basically the opposite concern. Individualism vs. collectivism. – inappropriateCode Aug 29 '16 at 16:49
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    @inappropriateCode You're misunderstanding equality of outcomes with equality of opportunity. Rather than enforced equality of outcomes through the extensive welfare state, wherein political activity is of primary importance, libertarians seek equality of before the law in that those with more political power are not given extensive control over the lives of others with less political power (bureaucrats shouldn't pick which company succeeds, don't favor one demographic over another, don't punish according to personal religious morals, impose their personal preferences on others, etc). – pluckedkiwi Aug 29 '16 at 19:40
  • @inappropriateCode as egalitarianism and protecting the status quo are not inherently at odds with each other it would be easy to find (or at least construct) a political ideology which does both; thus showing that your definition of the political spectrum may be right often but cannot be right everytime - and should be disavowed – user45891 Aug 30 '16 at 9:24
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    @user45891 that's a good point. Neither of our definitions of left and right are to satisfaction because they are not general enough. – inappropriateCode Aug 30 '16 at 10:37
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The German word is Nationalsozialismus.

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, "Nazi" mimicked the abbreviation of "Sozi" or socialist as being an abbreviation of Nationalsozialist.

This translates as National-Socialism.

Left and right wing according to today's politics

In the context of the French Revolution the original left wing was about pro-republican while the right that formed as a reaction to it was pro-monarchic.

Today's political views are based on the right wing shift of power from nobility and aristocracy to capitalism in the 1800s with the change of social class structure that took place as a result of it.

So today's Left-wing politics is generally understood as aiming to address or temper any adverse effects that may occur if the economic system gets out of whack.

See "Bismarck and the emergence of the welfare state" below to understand where this kind of socialism comes from.

In terms of ideology, the left is often associated with socialism and in having Marxist influences.

In fact, there are very few socialist economies in the world in the sense of opposing private enterprise as in workers owning the means of production. This is according to a narrative saying that workers are being exploited and is considered as the far left today.

The idea that the left means more government might come from the stereotype of Marxism-Leninism, the practical implementation of which involved central planning in the Soviet Union.

It appears that this has led certain political groups to consider that anything that involves economic interventionism is just another communism or socialism despite France using the dirigiste approach until the 1980s and various historical or current examples of state capitalism.

This view may be influenced by free market ideology which is put forward as a silver bullet for a few of society's problems and sceptics have apparently come put with the term market fundamentalism to qualify the pseudo-religious views of some of its proponents.

The idea that the right means less government comes from liberalism. It would be consistent with the liberal tradition of the United States and less so in Europe where the right had authoritarian origins as being in favour of monarchy.

Incidentally, belief in freer markets corresponds with economic liberalism which is one idea of liberalism.

I am currently researching to find out when right wing politics in Europe became influenced by liberalism like it is in our time.

The socialism in National-socialism

So, to get back to question, National-socialists did have anti-capitalists among them and more specifically the Strasserists as represented by two brothers, Gregor Strasser and Otto Strasser.

However, Benito Mussolini's fascismo had a major influence on Nazism. Hitler apparently admired the 1922 March on Rome and attempted a "March on Berlin" which resulted in the failed Beer Hall Putsch and the brown shirts were inspired by the fascist black shirts.

Gregor Strasser was critical of the influence of Italian Fascism as considering it as too conservative or capitalist.

During the Night of the Long Knives Gregor Strasser and leading members of this left wing were killed.

I don't have the references about this as of yet but apparently there was harsh repression of labour unions which would be a characteristic of fascism.

So is fascism itself left wing? It's not clear as it is said to have had a "complicated" relationship with capitalism in that private property - the basis of capitalism - was supported but attacks were directed at finance capitalism. This in a context where the world was undergoing the effects of the Great Depression.

Bismarck and the emergence of the welfare state

In passing, an interesting factoid is that claims that the nazis introduced social welfare completely ignore that the statesman and monarchist Otto von Bismarck (1871-1890) had created the paternal welfare state in co-opting the programs of the liberals and socialists he opposed.

Through further influence by Ferdinand Lassalle (1825–1864) this led to the foundation of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1875. This is probably the origin of the expression social democracy.

What we understand as socialism today is understood as being linked to the theories of Marxism but Karl Marx criticised this development in his Critique of the Gotha Programme as resulting in a permanent authoritarian dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.

This was the beginning of the welfare state and is considered by some as an authoritarian and non-egalitarian form of "socialism".

This could explains how liberalism in the United States differs from that in Europe in that social democracy influenced progressive ideas. The progressive label itself fell into disfavour due to the Prohibition in the United States and this would have motivated Franklin D. Roosevelt to use the liberal label for his politics instead.

The national part of National-socialism

The Nazi regime is considered as an example of ultranationalism and more specifically palingenetic ultranationalism or the myth of a "national rebirth".

This brings to mind the expression Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz which could be translated as "The common good before the self good".

Coin with the slogan "Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz"

This today would be considered as authoritarian and a knee-jerk reaction could lead someone to conclude that it has to do with collectivist thinking in that the group is more important than the individual.

Even so, there is a possible subtlety that most people may be missing as private property continued to exist unlike in the USSR and the Nazi focus may not have been the collectivist one as in placing the group above the individual but more along the lines of placing the state above the government and the people.

If so, this included protecting the state's heritage, distinct identity and culture with Cultural Bolshevism having been designed as propaganda to reject modernist movements.

So Hitler may have built a huge government machine as you say but private property continued to exist and business was subjected to the imperatives and the population was mobilised to turn it into the overpowering war machine that swept throughout Western Europe within a year.

It is safe to say that the Nazis were extreme (extremism is a political label in itself) but the notion of Third Position opposed to both communism and capitalism is said to have as a precursor Strasserism which was already mentioned above.

So either someone can say that Nazism was both a mix of authoritarian left and right economically speaking or that is was neither.

That is probably why some self-proclaimed and paranoid anti-fascists are afraid of any political "confusionism" as in ideologies uniting the right and left wing.

Nowadays, some European political parties such as the populist National Front in France are considered as being to the right without being liberal.

Also, today's Neo-nazism is often referred to as being of the extreme right wing in having kept the nationalistic, racist and antisemitic undertones.

Political words

Most people almost certainly use political labels wrong as they simply don't have the reflex of opening a dictionary and encyclopedia.

You mention radical and in politics radicalism has the specific meaning of any principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary means and changing value systems in fundamental ways.

Populism is a view that considers that citizens are being mistreated by an elite but it can have a derogatory meaning in having to with appealing to the interests of the common people and could thus be coupled with demagoguery which is about appealing to prejudices.

Summary

Are Nazis left or right wing?

Both or neither.

Do we (media/citizen) use words like radicalism, populism and nazi wrongly - so we don't have to argue for our standpoints?

Yes. Not so much to avoid arguing standpoints then use them as near meaningless snarl words.

Does those words become "pointless", like Orwell said about Fascism?

The words in themselves are not pointless as they have a precise meaning but they may have become useless in common usage as some people have never experienced these ideologies.

As for George Orwell's quote, it is not clear what he was getting at unless he was expressing criticism in how democracy was used as a word.

As you probably know, he came up with the idea of Newspeak in this novel Nineteen Eighty-Four with the cult slogans "War is peace", "Freedom is slavery" and "Ignorance is strength" which were used in this fictional world to manipulate public opinion.

Fascism is indeed something undesirable as it expressed contempt through politics and broke the separation of powers. The precise definition is:

A political regime, having totalitarian aspirations, ideologically based on a relationship between business and the centralized government, business-and-government control of the marketplace, repression of criticism or opposition, a leader cult and exalting the state and/or religion above individual rights. Originally only applied (usually capitalized) to Benito Mussolini's Italy.

  • This answer needs some further fact checking so take it with a grain of salt and do your own further research. Might update it later on. – James P. Aug 30 '16 at 22:28
2

Nazism is a form of Fascism, and they share overlapping traits

This fact may be leveraged later, using facts about Fascism to address the OP's questions. A statement about Fascism has applications about the tenets of Nazism as well. The following quotes support that Nazism is a form of Fascism.

Nazism is a form of fascism and showed that ideology's disdain for liberal democracy and the parliamentary system, but also incorporated fervent antisemitism, scientific racism, and eugenics into its creed.
Fascism was a major influence on Nazism. The seizure of power by Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini in the March on Rome in 1922 drew admiration by Hitler, who less than a month later had begun to model himself and the Nazi Party upon Mussolini and the Fascists. Hitler presented the Nazis as a form of German fascism.
Hitler spoke of Nazism being indebted to the success of Fascism's rise to power in Italy.
the Nazis were one of many nationalist and fascist political parties
Roderick Stackelberg places fascism—including Nazism, which he says is "a radical variant of fascism"—on the political right
One early admirer of the Italian Fascists was Adolf Hitler, who less than a month after the March had begun to model himself and the Nazi Party upon Mussolini and the Fascists.
In Germany, it contributed to the rise of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, which resulted in the demise of the Weimar Republic and the establishment of the fascist regime, Nazi Germany, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.

Nazism (and Fascism) is a far-right ideology

Quotes from the wikipedia article on Nazism follow that place Nazism on the far-right end of the political spectrum.

National Socialism , more commonly known as Nazism , is the ideology and practices associated with the Nazi Party – officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party – in Nazi Germany, and of other far-right groups with similar aims.
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.
A major inspiration for the Nazis were the far-right nationalist Freikorps
The descriptions neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied more formally to describe parties of the far-right with ideologies similar to, or rooted in, 20th-century fascist movements.
All [Fascist philosophies] traditionally fall into the far-right sector of any political spectrum, catalyzed by afflicted class identities over conventional social inequities
Most scholars place fascism on the far right of the political spectrum.
Roderick Stackelberg places fascism—including Nazism, which he says is "a radical variant of fascism"—on the political right
A major element of fascist ideology that has been deemed to be far-right is its stated goal to promote the right of a supposedly superior people to dominate, while purging society of supposedly inferior elements.
In the 1920s the Italian Fascists described their ideology as right-wing in the political program The Doctrine of Fascism

Fascism (and Nazism) is anti-liberal, anti-socialist, anti-marxist, anti-Democratic, and sometimes against traditional conservatism and Capitalism as well

Because some of these quotes support the previous section as well, I must bold the mentions of far-right politics that cause these quotes to support two points at once.

Adolf Hitler and other proponents denied that Nazism was either left-wing or right-wing, instead they officially portrayed Nazism as a syncretic movement. In Mein Kampf, Hitler directly attacked both left-wing and right-wing politics in Germany

The Nazis were strongly influenced by the post–World War I far-right in Germany, which held common beliefs such as anti-Marxism, anti-liberalism and antisemitism

Opposed to liberalism, Marxism and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.

According to many scholars, fascism—especially once in power—has historically attacked communism, conservatism and parliamentary liberalism, attracting support primarily from the far-right.

Fascism is "a genuinely revolutionary, trans-class form of anti-liberal, and in the last analysis, anti-conservative nationalism" built on a complex range of theoretical and cultural influences. He distinguishes an inter-war period in which it manifested itself in elite-led but populist "armed party" politics opposing socialism and liberalism and promising radical politics to rescue the nation from decadence.

Fascism promotes the establishment of a totalitarian state. It opposes liberal democracy, rejects multi-party systems and supports a one-party state.

Fascism presented itself as a third position, alternative to both international socialism and free market capitalism.

While fascism accepted the importance of material wealth and power, it condemned materialism which identified as being present in both communism and capitalism

Fascism is deliberately and entirely non-democratic and anti-democratic.

Nazism is not Socialist. It is opposed to Communism / Marxism / Socialism. Nazism merely hijacked Socialism's branding to gain more followers
Defining Nazism's orientation to Socialism is confusing for some, because Nazis have appropriated the term "Socialism" into their own party name and attempted to redefine the German interpretation of Socialism while attacking Marxism and dismantling the Communist parties of Germany. The Nazi party hoped to use this Socialist name branding to win supporters away from authentic Socialist and Communist movements that were strong in Germany at the time. Anyone in contemporary times who takes branding at face value may think that the Nazi party was Socialist. However, the economics of Nazi Germany were totally Nationalist. This is why a thorough study of history would offer more fidelity to truth than would a vast oversimplification based on looking at labels and drawing assumptions. The economics of Nationalism have aspects of Capitalism and Socialism, but all productivity is meant to serve the strength and supremacy of the nation instead of the welfare and actualization of the individual.

The term "National Socialism" arose out of attempts to create a nationalist redefinition of "socialism", as an alternative to both international socialism and free market capitalism.
By the early 1920s the party was renamed the National Socialist German Workers' Party – to attract workers away from left-wing parties such as the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Communists (KPD)
The Nazis claimed that communism was dangerous to the well-being of nations
[Hitler] also expressed opposition to communism and egalitarian forms of socialism, arguing that inequality and hierarchy are beneficial to the nation.
Nazism rejected class conflict-based socialism and economic egalitarianism, favouring instead a stratified economy with social classes based on merit and talent, retaining private property and the creation of national solidarity that transcends class distinction.
In Mein Kampf, Hitler stated his desire to "make war upon the Marxist principle that all men are equal."
Nazism upheld the "natural inequality of men," including inequality between races and also within each race.
Hitler asserted that the "three vices" of "Jewish Marxism" were democracy, pacifism and internationalism. The Communist movement, the trade unions, the Social Democratic Party and the left-wing press were all considered to be Jewish-controlled and part of the "international Jewish conspiracy" to weaken the German nation by promoting internal disunity through class struggle.
Joseph Goebbels published a pamphlet titled The Nazi-Sozi which gave brief points of how National Socialism differed from Marxism. In 1930, Hitler said: "Our adopted term 'Socialist' has nothing to do with Marxist Socialism. Marxism is anti-property; true Socialism is not".
The Communist Party of Germany (KPD) was the largest Communist Party in the world outside of the Soviet Union, until it was destroyed by the Nazis in 1933. In the 1920s and early 30s, Communists and Nazis often fought each other directly in street violence, with the Nazi paramilitary organizations being opposed by the Communist Red Front and Anti-Fascist Action.
After the Nazis came to power, they quickly banned the Communist Party under the allegation that it was preparing for revolution and that it had caused the Reichstag fire. Four thousand KPD officials were arrested in February 1933, and by the end of the year 130,000 communists had been sent to concentration camps.

Other responses to the OP's questions
Note: it's discouraged to post questions that are actually multiple questions, and it's problematic in that it can lead to long, multi-part, hard-to-read answers. You can see many examples of long answers for this question.

"right means liberal, so less government"
There are two errors here. The word "liberal" is associated with left-wing politics (at least it commonly does in America, but "economic liberalism" actually does mean right-wing economics, which is not a connotation that I think is commonly known among Americans). Also, as addressed in other answers, right-wing politics may mean "less government" with regard to business regulations and tax rates, but it can also mean "more government" with regard to social regulations like drug laws, abortion laws, ban on stem cell research, transgender military bans, same sex marriage bans, racial segregation, etc. Right-wing policy also correlates with large law enforcement, large military, and invasive intelligence communities (see Patriot Act). Right-wing politics around the world tend to correlate with more authoritarianism, as opposed to more democracy (though, it's also the case that authoritarianism is capable of pairing with any left-wing or right-wing economic system).

"The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies 'something not desirable'"
Some people make these sort of claims, but Fascism DOES have definitions. It is a pretty rich bundle of many platforms, so it takes a while to learn all about it, and the layperson many not be totally knowledgeable on it. While some people claim that Nazism and Fascism are thrown around frivolously, they are also making the mistake of dismissing legitimate applications of these terms. There really may be modern politicians or governments that meet the vast majority of the criteria required to qualify as Fascist. In modern times, claiming that Fascism or Nazism have no meaning is often done by people who have either themselves not thoroughly studied these terms, or who are trying to deflect criticism away from legitimately neo-Fascist and neo-Nazi entities. Otherwise, if something is falsely labeled Fascist, then you should acknowledge that Fascism does have a definition, and then refute their claim head-on with facts.

"Do we (media/citizen) use words like radicalism, populism and nazi wrongly - so we don't have to argue for our standpoints?"
I think it's more common that these terms are used fairly accurately, though "neo-Nazi" is generally more accurate most of the time that "Nazi" is used. I don't think the term "populist" gets misused, except that there are two kinds of populism in which you appeal to what the common man knows is good for them, versus appealing to what the common man incorrectly thinks is good for them. The term "radical" is sometimes used to accurately identify radicals, and is sometimes misused to identify sensible policies; and it is possible, but hard to debate what is subjectively radical vs objectively radical. I also think, in retrospect, that drawing parallels between political candidates and Hitler is used too often. Whenever I see a neo-Fascist politician who legitimately does parallel Hitler, it makes me regret having drawn more frivolous parallels between other politicians and Hitler in the past.

  • Are you sure the term "liberal" is always associated with the left? As I understand it, and loosely speaking, some locales use it to mean socially free (left) while in other locales it means economically free (right). – Joel Harmon Feb 20 at 1:34
  • @JoelHarmon In America, liberal is used synonymously with progressive or left-wing to mean socially progressive, economically progressive, or both together. Progressive economics imply some degree of Socialism, including higher tax rates on the rich, more social spending, more anti-poverty programs, etc. In fairness to your point, "economic liberalism," a.k.a. "economic libertarianism" may imply right-wing economic policy. I think fluid interpretations of liberal economics confuse the issue. It is easier to just stick with left-wing and right-wing. – John Feb 20 at 2:58
  • I agree that Americans generally hear "liberal" more or less as you describe. However, as the question isn't tagged US, I think your edit helps clarify things for an international audience. Thanks for updating it. – Joel Harmon Feb 20 at 12:13
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National Socialists were authoritarian centrists.

nazis

https://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2

In our home page we demolished the myth that authoritarianism is necessarily "right wing", with the examples of Robert Mugabe, Pol Pot and Stalin. Similarly Hitler, on an economic scale, was not an extreme right-winger. His economic policies were broadly Keynesian, and to the left of some of today's Labour parties. If you could get Hitler and Stalin to sit down together and avoid economics, the two diehard authoritarians would find plenty of common ground

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    I can't understand why people are downvoting this answer, as it is correct by all means. People seem to not understand the difference between economic right/left and social right/left... – miep Feb 19 at 13:18
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    @miep In general, link-only answers are expected to be downvoted. This answer is just a picture and a link, with an unclear - at best - explanation. The quote raises more questions than it answers: The quote says his economic policies are to the left of Labour, which would clearly label him on the left side. Still it's in the center! Therefore, I can see why some would think this should be downvoted. – Sjoerd May 1 at 20:15
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1. Are Nazis Left or Right?

Nazis are on the left. Naziism is a version of socialism along with other versions of Fascism. Fascism is socialism with a focus on national identity. Fascism includes government control of the economy, authoritarianism, the subordination of the individual to the state, etc.

The right focuses on individuality, liberty, private property, little government control of the economy, and limitations on government power.

This video explains the relationship between Naziism and Socialism. Socialists disagreed with Hitler because he was killing people because of their race, when socialists thought Hitler should be killing people because of their social class.

There have been right wing dictators, like Francisco Franco in Spain, and Augusto Pinochet in Chile, but though they were dictators, they were not fascist dictators. Remember, right wing mean supporting the system that already exists, or traditional ways. A right wing dictator is a dictator who supports or fights to support, protect or bring back traditional political, social and economic systems. A fascist dictator is a dictator who supports the socialist system of fascism, meaning government economic control, and so on.

Pinochet in particular ushered in free market reforms to help Chile's economy recover. Francisco Franco became the dictator of Spain in response to the Spanish Civil War, which was ignited by Spanish leftists.

This video by Dinesh D'Souza explains it.

Dinesh D'Souza explains how Fascism is on the Left.

2. Do we (media/citizen) use words like radicalism, populism and nazi wrongly - so we don't have to argue for our standpoints?

Yes, it's very common. It's all political rhetoric, which means political statements designed to influence people by affecting their emotions. It also serves a secondary purpose of stopping discussion with a morally-charged accusation.

Here's another video by Dinesh D'Souza explaining how the words 'Nazi' and 'Fascist' became used like this. Naziism was bad, so leftist intellectuals call their political opponents Nazis to smear them, discredit them, and paint them as morally bad people.

Stopping discussing with these words is a tactic Mao Tse-Tung called 'magic words', emotionally-charged words which once said (or yelled probably) stop all discussion. Examples include "Fascist!" "Racist!" "Nazi!" "Commie!" "Bourgeois!" "Kulak!" "Reactionary!" "Misogynist!" "Imperialist!" and so on. The point is to interrupt the discussion and shout down one's opponents.

3. Do those words become "pointless", like Orwell said about Fascism?

Yes. By using these words constantly and inaccurately, they lose their meaning. The words Racist, Fascist and Nazi are so overused people don't even know what they really mean anymore.

Here's an article about it:

One example of how a word's corrupted meaning has buttressed a political cause in America is "racism." A word which once had a specific meaning -- see below -- has become like "fascism" was when Orwell wrote in 1946: a word that has "no meaning except it signifies 'something not desirable.'"

Here is another example:

Accompanying this has been an elevation of "racism" into a hyperbolic attack on par with "Nazi" or "communist", something so absurd that it can be disabused on its face.

The word racism has become so powerful, so significant, that is has now been robbed of all its power and significance.

The source is a Guardian.com article, but it has a picture of the KKK, so NSFW!

This is an excerpt from one of my answers to another question, but which also happens to answer this question.

The fascist, socialist and communist political movements were all left wing, with their roots in Marxism.

Fascism is not 'right' at all. It is a totalitarian socialist ideology, with an extreme focus on nationalism. After the horrific slaughter of WW1, the internationalist message wasn't received too well by the masses, so socialist leaders like Mussolini and Hitler mixed a nationalist message with their socialism.

Search "The Soviet Story" on YouTube for an excellent Polish documentary on the close relationship between Naziism and Communism.

In The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, Sheldon Richman succinctly states: “As an economic system, fascism is socialism with a capitalist veneer.”7 He contends that socialism seeks to abolish capitalism outright, while fascism gives the appearance of a market-based economy, even though it relies heavily on the central planning of all economic activities. Source

Hitler, spoken to Otto Strasser, Berlin, May 21, 1930: I am a Socialist, and a very different kind of Socialist from your rich friend, Count Reventlow. . . . What you understand by Socialism is nothing more than Marxism.

Gregor Strasser, National Socialist theologian, said: We National Socialists are enemies, deadly enemies, of the present capitalist system with its exploitation of the economically weak … and we are resolved under all circumstances to destroy this system.

F.A. Hayek in his Road to Serfdom (p. 168) said: The connection between socialism and nationalism in Germany was close from the beginning. It is significant that the most important ancestors of National Socialism—Fichte, Rodbertus, and Lassalle—are at the same time acknowledged fathers of socialism. …. From 1914 onward there arose from the ranks of Marxist socialism one teacher after another who led, not the conservatives and reactionaries, but the hard-working laborer and idealist youth into the National Socialist fold. It was only thereafter that the tide of nationalist socialism attained major importance and rapidly grew into the Hitlerian doctrine.

Von Mises in his Human Action (p. 171) said: There are two patterns for the realization of socialism. The first pattern (we may call it the Lenin or Russian pattern) . . . . the second pattern (we may call it the Hindenburg or German Pattern) nominally and seemingly preserves private ownership of the means of production and keeps the appearance of ordinary markets, prices, wages, and interest rates. There are, however, no longer entrepreneurs, but only shop managers … bound to obey unconditionally the orders issued by government.

Source

"I am not, and never have been, a man of the right. My position was on the left and is now in the centre of politics." - Oswald Mosely, leader of the British Union of Fascists. Source

Fascists are called right wing or far right because leftists wanted to disassociate themselves from the atrocities of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

Yes, the Soviet Union committed atrocities. Ask any Ukrainian.

Read this quote from Dinesh D'Souza:

The absurd claim that fascism and Nazism are not socialist movements owes it origin, in part, to the hideous reputations those leftist ideologies and their regimes earned in the wake of World War II. How could progressives expect to thrive in America if the Holocaust and other atrocities were linked to its political relatives? Consequently, a gigantic lie was perpetrated by leftist intellectuals and slavishly spread by a sympathetic media—namely, that fascism was a movement of the “far right” and that conservatives were also on “the right.” This “Big Lie” has long been a staple of Democratic propaganda and the basis for the absurd notion that President Trump is a fascist—not his violent, GOP-assassinating, speech-suppressing, “Antifa” opponents. Source

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    This answer is being discussed on meta – GGMG-he-him Feb 17 at 3:02
  • Please don't include non-answer content in the answer. This answer has been locked, and will remain locked until you promise not to edit it back in. – Sam I am says Reinstate Monica Feb 18 at 4:16
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    Everything in this answer is wrong. Not by ideology, but by facts. All "sources" are from persons generally considered right, far right or extremist right, so they are by no means suitable as a source on this topic. Using such biased persons as sources makes this not an answer but a mere opinion. I can truly understand this low rating. – miep Feb 19 at 13:37
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    @miep You can't seriously claim that "persons generally considered right" are by no means suitable as a source? That's a good way to make your own filter bubble water tight. – pipe Feb 19 at 14:56
  • @pipe As a matter of fact, i do. Exaggerated spoken you could see this answer as "severel extremist rights claiming that historical nazism was left, so it's fine to be extreme right." I could accept an answer that has a right and a left persons view as a source. Or any position between. But this answer, as it is, is not valuable on this topic. – miep Feb 19 at 15:09

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