Adolf Hitler Was Definitively a Socialist

Before losing this in one way or another, I thought I’d share it here. The quotes were compiled by reddit user u/PaperbackWriter66. Ignoramuses like to paint Hitler as a right-wing anti-socialist fascist. He was a left-wing anti-capitalist socialist and fascist, without a doubt. And a disgusting murderous racist to boot. Additionally, I link to some excellent essays and books (with excerpts) at the beginning on this point. Enjoy.

How “socialist” was national socialism? – Alberto Mingardi

Hayek was wary that prominent British thinkers thought Nazism was simply “vile” and, thus, had little to do with a noble set of ideas such as socialism. Instead, he saw a radical reaction to the “old” liberal system and the rule of law.

Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian – George Reisman

My purpose today is to make just two main points: (1) To show why Nazi Germany was a socialist state, not a capitalist one. And (2) to show why socialism, understood as an economic system based on government ownership of the means of production, positively requires a totalitarian dictatorship. The identification of Nazi Germany as a socialist state was one of the many great contributions of Ludwig von Mises.

Why Hayek was Right About Nazis Being Socialists – Richard M. Ebeling

To begin with, in the house of collectivism there have been many socialist mansions. Among the early 19th century French socialists there was a diversity of views as to whether the socialist society to come, for instance, would be an industrial or agrarian paradise. There were disagreements about whether people could reason their way into radical social change, those whom Marx labelled the “utopian socialists,” or whether it would come only in its own good time due to inescapable historical evolution and revolution, as Marx insisted.

Yes, the Nazis Were Socialists – David Gordon

In answer to Sehon, I mentioned Mises’s vital distinction between two kinds of socialism. In one of them, the state owns the means of production. In the other, private property still exists but the state tells the owners what to do. This is a form of central planning and still counts as socialism, and it was this that the Nazis put into practice.

Nazi Economic Policy – David Gordon

When President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler German Chancellor on January 30, 1933, people did not know what to expect as regards the economic policy of the new regime. There were disturbing signs that the National Socialists had radical reforms in mind. The “unalterable” 25 point 1920 program of the party proposed, among other things, “that all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished”; “the nationalization of all trusts”; “profit-sharing in large industries”; and “an agrarian reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.”

Hitler’s Handouts – Michael Moynihan

The Nazis themselves regarded the left-right convergence as integral to understanding fascism. Adolf Eichmann viewed National Socialism and communism as “quasi-siblings,” explaining in his memoirs that he “inclined towards the left and emphasized socialist aspects every bit as much as nationalist ones.” As late as 1944, Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels publicly celebrated “our socialism,” reminding his war-weary subjects that Germany “alone [has] the best social welfare measures.” Contrast this, he advised, with the Jews, who were the very “incarnation of capitalism.”

Hitler’s Economics – Llewellyn H. Rockwell

In the 1930s, Hitler was widely viewed as just another protectionist central planner who recognized the supposed failure of the free market and the need for nationally guided economic development. Proto-Keynesian socialist economist Joan Robinson wrote that “Hitler found a cure against unemployment before Keynes was finished explaining it.”

What were those economic policies? He suspended the gold standard, embarked on huge public-works programs like autobahns, protected industry from foreign competition, expanded credit, instituted jobs programs, bullied the private sector on prices and production decisions, vastly expanded the military, enforced capital controls, instituted family planning, penalized smoking, brought about national healthcare and unemployment insurance, imposed education standards, and eventually ran huge deficits. The Nazi interventionist program was essential to the regime’s rejection of the market economy and its embrace of socialism in one country.

Nazism is Socialism – Adam Young

By the standards of the Left, Adolf Hitler would have been deemed a “great statesman,” had he died before he started the war (or if he had won it). That’s because the left tends to measure greatness by the amount of land and number of people under one man’s thumb. By that standard, Hitler was a great socialist-which is precisely what he and his part aspired to become.

Hitler’s Views on Private Property and Nationalization – Rainer Zitelmann

In his table talks on September 3, 1942, Hitler said that land was “national property, and in the end only given to the individual as a loan.” Hitler only recognizes private ownership insofar as it is used according to the principle “common benefit ahead of private benefit,” which means, concretely, insofar as land is used within the framework of the objectives set by the state. For Hitler the principle of “common benefit ahead of private benefit” means that if it is necessary in the common interest, the state has the right at all times to decide the way, the extent to which, and when private ownership is used, and the common interest is, of course, defined by the state.

Why Hitler Was a Man of the Left – Rainer Zitelmann

As we know from numerous remarks to his inner circle, Hitler admired Joseph Stalin because he had consistently acted against the old elites. And his admiration for Stalin was accompanied by an increasing admiration of the state planned economy in the Soviet Union, which, in Hitler’s view, was far superior to the liberal market economy.

Tom Woods Podcast, Ep. 2084 Was Hitler a Socialist? – Interview of Rainer Zietlmann

Rainer Zitelmann, author of the new book Hitler’s National Socialism, discusses Hitler’s views of society, economics, and politics.

Hitler’s National Socialism – Rainer Zitelmann

Using a previously unparalleled range of sources, this book reconstructs Hitler’s thought processes and objectives. It shows that Hitler developed a concept of “NATIONAL SOCIALISM” in which anti-capitalist ideas played a far greater role than has previously been assumed. Zitelmann shows that Hitler’s anti-capitalism became increasingly radicalized and that he eventually became an admirer of Stalin’s Soviet planned economy.

No, Hitler Was Not a Closet Capitalist – Rainer Zitelmann

In my book Hitler’s National Socialism, I have analyzed thousands of statements made by Hitler—from his two books, from speeches, essays and, in particular, what he said to members of his inner circle (e.g., during so-called monologues at the Führer’s headquarters, or “table talks”). In all of these statements, Hitler associated the “bourgeoisie” with weakness, cowardice, and decadence in contrast to the working class, whom he associated with strength, power, and courage. Based on Hitler’s own words, it is clear he believed that the bourgeoisie as a class was doomed and that the future belonged to the working class.

Why Hitler Chose the Jews – Bryan Caplan

It is manifestly clear and has been proven in practice and by the facts of all revolutions that a struggle for ideals, for improvements of any kind whatsoever, absolutely must be supplemented with a struggle against some social class or caste.

Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse – Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

Fascism and National Socialism are often seen as rightist movements, but Kuehnelt-Leddihn dissents. In their emphasis on mass mobilization and their opposition to individualism, they belong to the Left.

The Vampire Economy – Günter Reimann

Here is a study of the actual workings of business under national socialism. Written in 1939, Reimann discusses the effects of heavy regulation, inflation, price controls, trade interference, national economic planning, and attacks on private property, and what consequences they had for human rights and economic development.

Were the Nazis Really Socialists? It Depends on How You Define Socialism – Michael Rieger

In establishing national socialism, the Nazis sought to redefine socialism yet again. National socialism began as a fusion of socialist ideas of a technocratically-managed economy with Völkisch nationalism, a deeply anti-Semitic form of German nationalism. In their burgeoning ideology, the Nazis saw both capitalism and communism as unhealthily materialistic and based in selfishness rather than national unity, traits they negatively associated with Judaism.

Hayek on the Socialist Roots of Nazism – Byron Chiado

“The doctrines which had guided the ruling elements in Germany for the past generation were not opposed to the socialism in Marxism, but to the liberal elements contained in it, its internationalism and its democracy.”

National Socialism WAS Socialism (video) – TIKhistory

Many people think that National Socialism is on the Far-Right of the political spectrum. But is this really the case? Adolf Hitler defined National Socialism as socialism; yes, he was actually a socialist. Therefore his regime was actually (technically) on the Far-Left. In this video, we will explore the ideology of one of the most evil regimes in human history and realise that we need to rethink our perception of the Eastern Front (Axis-Soviet Front) of WW2. Ultimately, what separates the Stalinist ideology from the National Socialist ideology is racism – which was central to the Nazi world view.

Fascism: Socialism with a Capitalist Veneer – Sheldon Richman

Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.)

Similarity Between Socialism and Fascism: An Illustration – Pierre Lemieux

Fortunately, socialism and fascism are not the only two political alternatives, for neither is attractive. Moreover, a well-kept secret is how similar the two ideologies are. Substituting socialism for fascism in many statements from fascists would bring instant approval from socialists. Many antifa agitators would be surprised to realize that they are doing fascism unknowingly, just as Mr. Jourdain was doing prose without being aware of it.

Different Shades of Red  – Pierre Lemieux

The kinship between wokism and socialism on the one hand and fascism on the other is often blurred by the fact that they cater to different beneficiaries and pursues different victims; but they demonstrate the same ignorance of economics, the same preference for coercive collective choices, the same hatred for anything that looks like classical liberalism or libertarianism, and, in practice if not in theory, the same attraction for political power.

Fascism and Communism Were Two Peas in a Pod – Michael de Spapio

It would seem undeniable that Hitler and Mussolini, like the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin, were revolutionaries and in no sense conservatives or traditionalists. Their ideologies grew out of the avant-garde positivist, progressive, and pragmatic philosophies of the late 19th century.

Answer me this, point-blank: is socialism on the Left or is it not?

Also, you have not proven a damn thing. Where are your primary sources? Nowhere, all you’ve done is link to Wikipedia (which isn’t a source and also says that fascism was left-wing).

You also never answered my original question: if Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler were both “right wing”, then what government policies did they both support?

Now, let me quote Hitler and show you just how wrong you are:

What Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism failed to accomplish, we shall be in a position to achieve.

Adolf Hitler as quoted by Otto Wagener in Hitler—Memoirs of a Confidant, editor, Henry Ashby Turner, Jr., Yale University Press (1985) p. 149:

After all, that’s exactly why we call ourselves National Socialists! We want to start by implementing socialism in our nation among our Volk! It is not until the individual nations are socialist that they can address themselves to international socialism.

Adolf Hitler as quoted by Otto Wagener in Hitler—Memoirs of a Confidant, editor, Henry Ashby Turner, Jr., Yale University Press (1985) p. 288:

What the world did not deem possible the German people have achieved… It is already war history how the German Armies defeated the legions of capitalism and plutocracy. After forty-five days this campaign in the West was equally and emphatically terminated.

“Adolf Hitler’s Order of the Day Calling for Invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece,” Berlin, (April 6, 1941), New York Times, April 7, 1941:

To put it quite clearly: we have an economic programme. Point No. 13 in that programme demands the nationalisation of all public companies, in other words socialisation, or what is known here as socialism. … the basic principle of my Party’s economic programme should be made perfectly clear and that is the principle of authority… the good of the community takes priority over that of the individual. But the State should retain control; every owner should feel himself to be an agent of the State; it is his duty not to misuse his possessions to the detriment of the State or the interests of his fellow countrymen. That is the overriding point. The Third Reich will always retain the right to control property owners. If you say that the bourgeoisie is tearing its hair over the question of private property, that does not affect me in the least. Does the bourgeoisie expect some consideration from me?… Today’s bourgeoisie is rotten to the core; it has no ideals any more; all it wants to do is earn money and so it does me what damage it can. The bourgeois press does me damage too and would like to consign me and my movement to the devil.

Hitler’s interview with Richard Breiting, 1931, published in Edouard Calic, ed., “First Interview with Hitler, 4 May 1931,” Secret Conversations with Hitler: The Two Newly-Discovered 1931 Interviews, New York: John Day Co., 1971, pp. 31-33. Also published under the title Unmasked: Two Confidential Interviews with Hitler in 1931, published by Chatto & Windus in 1971:

I will tolerate no opposition. We recognize only subordination – authority downwards and responsibility upwards. You just tell the German bourgeoisie that I shall be finished with them far quicker than I shall with marxism… When once the conservative forces in Germany realize that only I and my party can win the German proletariat over to the State and that no parliamentary games can be played with marxist parties, then Germany will be saved for all time, then we can found a German Peoples State.

Hitler’s interview with Richard Breiting, 1931, published in Edouard Calic, ed., “First Interview with Hitler,4 May 1931,” Secret Conversations with Hitler: The Two Newly-Discovered 1931 Interviews, New York: John Day Co., 1971, pp. 36-37. Also published under the title Unmasked: Two Confidential Interviews with Hitler in 1931 published by Chatto & Windus in 1971:

I have learned a great deal from Marxism as I do not hesitate to admit… The difference between them and myself is that I have really put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun. The whole of National Socialism is based on it… National Socialism is what Marxism might have been if it could have broken its absurd and artificial ties with a democratic order.

As quoted in The Voice of Destruction, Hermann Rauschning, New York, NY, G.P. Putnam’s Sons (1940) p. 186, this book is also known as Hitler Speaks:

“Unlike people such as the wealthy Count Reventlow, I am a socialist. I started as a simple worker, and today still, I do not allow my chauffeur to receive another meal than me. But your socialism is Marxism pure and simple.” (Hitler, May 1930, in a debate with the aforementioned Strasser (as quoted by Strasser))

Link to full transcript here. Clearly, Hitler saw a distinction between “Marxism” and “socialism” but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t socialist at all. Indeed, Hitler later said this in 1938:

‘Socialist’ I define from the word ‘social; meaning in the main ‘social equity’. A Socialist is one who serves the common good without giving up his individuality or personality or the product of his personal efficiency. Our adopted term ‘Socialist’ has nothing to do with Marxian Socialism. Marxism is anti-property; true socialism is not. [let me pause here to point out even Hitler was making the “not real socialism” argument in 1938!]

Marxism places no value on the individual, or individual effort, of efficiency; true Socialism values the individual and encourages him in individual efficiency, at the same time holding that his interests as an individual must be in consonance with those of the community. All great inventions, discoveries, achievements were first the product of an individual brain. It is charged against me that I am against property, that I am an atheist. Both charges are false. (Speech given on December 28, 1938, quoted in The Speeches of Adolf Hitler: April 1922-August 1939 pg. 93)

And he continued to speak of building a socialist utopia even during the war:

All the more so after the war, the German National Socialist state, which pursued this goal from the beginning, will tirelessly work for the realization of a program that will ultimately lead to a complete elimination of class differences and to the creation of a true socialist community. (Speech for the Heroes’ Memorial Day (21 March 1943) link)

I, on the other hand, have tried for two decades to build a new socialist order in Germany, with a minimum of interference and without harming our productive capacity. (Hitler’s “Barbarossa” Proclamation, (June 22, 1941) link)

I purchase the necessities of life with the productive power of German workmen. The results of our economic policy speak for us, not for the gold standard people. For we, the poor have abolished unemployment because we no longer pay homage to this madness, because we regard our entire economic existence as a production problem and no longer as a capitalistic problem. We placed the whole organized strength of the nation, the discipline of the entire nation, behind our economic policy. We explained to the nation that it was madness to wage internal economic wars between the various classes, in which they all perish together. (Speech on the “21st Anniversary of the National Socialist Party” (24 February 1941) link)

Not just Hitler, but Goebbels too called himself and the NSDAP socialist. He in fact wrote a pamphlet on the subject in 1929 (this quote from the 1932 edition) subtitled “Why are we socialists?”:

Socialism is the doctrine of liberation for the working class. It promotes the rise of the fourth class and its incorporation in the political organism of our Fatherland, and is inextricably bound to breaking the present slavery and regaining German freedom…We are socialists because we see the social question as a matter of necessity and justice for the very existence of a state for our people, not a question of cheap pity or insulting sentimentality. The worker has a claim to a living standard that corresponds to what he produces. We have no intention of begging for that right. Incorporating him in the state organism is not only a critical matter for him, but for the whole nation.

Goebbels also said:

[T]he NSDAP is the German Left. We despise bourgeois nationalism. (Der Angriff, (December 6, 1931) written by Goebbels. Der Angriff (The Attack) was the official newspaper of the Nazi-Sozi party in Berlin.)

Lenin is the greatest man, second only to Hitler, and that the difference between Communism and the Hitler faith is very slight. (As quoted in The New York Times, “Hitlerite Riot in Berlin: Beer Glasses Fly When Speaker Compares Hitler to Lenin,” November 28, 1925 (Goebbels’ speech November 27, 1925))

England is a capitalist democracy. Germany is a socialist people’s state. (“Englands Schuld,” Illustrierter Beobachter, Sondernummer, p. 14. The article is not dated, but is from the early months of the war, likely late fall of 1939. Joseph Goebbels’ speech in English is titled “England’s Guilt.”)

So if Hitler was not a socialist…. what was he?

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Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.