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Nazism (German: Nationalsozialismus) is a far-right fascist ideology developed by Adolf Hitler and other members of the NSDAP which holds that "Aryan" Germans are the most superior race, while people such as Jews, gays, and Slavs are inferior. While Nazis in Nazi Germany allied with non-Aryans such as Italians and Japanese, this was merely for support and Nazis did not consider Italians and Japanese to be superior.[citation needed]

Neo-Nazism, a general term for revival groups of the Nazi ideology, is prevalent in both Europe and the United States. It abandons the idea of the Aryan German and replaces it with generic White supremacy.

Development and origins

German esotericism

Nazi ideology and iconography owes a major debt to the anti-Semitic and nationalist esoteric movement which was common among German reactionaries since the 19th century, including among "proto-fascist" paramilitary groups such as the Freikorps. By the time the Nazis began employing the swastika as their symbol, the association in Europe between the swastika and esoteric reactionism had already become well-established; in Finland, for example, where the national military used the seemingly innocuous symbol in at least some form until the 21st century, it had in fact originated in 1918 with the Swedish fascist Eric von Rosen.[1]

"Aryan" ideology

The use of the term "Aryan" in Nazi racial theories descends ultimately from an unscientific interpretation of the Proto-Indo-European linguistic hypothesis. The linguistic theory posits, based on extensive linguistic evidence, that many languages and cultures of Eurasia, including English, German, Latin, Greek, Persian, and Sanskrit, originate from one linguistic-cultural group who lived during the Bronze Age. In the 19th century, this was construed by racial theorists such as Arthur de Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain to mean that these groups had all originated with one conquering, superior ethnic group or "race". Given that the autonym "Arya" appears in both Sanskrit and Old Persian to refer to the descendants of this group, this name was assumed to be the original culture's true name. According to the Nazi version of this theory, white-skinned "Aryan" invaders subjugated the Dravidian-speaking natives of India and ruled them as the original Brahmin class, producing in the meantime outstanding works of Indian culture such as the Vedas, but eventually interbred with their dark-skinned inferiors and fell into obscurity.[citation needed]


The swastika, a symbol associated with the Nazis.

Relationship to socialism

"Fascism, although in the early stages making a show of vague and patently disingenuous anti-capitalist propaganda to attract mass-support, is from the outset fostered, nourished, maintained and subsidized by the big bourgeoisie, by the big landlords, financiers and industrialists."

— R.P. Dutt, Fascism & Social Revolution

Some, especially bourgeois academics and politicians, have argued that Nazism (if not fascism in general) is a form of socialism, their most common talking point being that the Nazis called themselves "national socialists." This argument only exists to demonize left-wing and progressive movements and is, ironically, directly or indirectly benefiting modern-day neo-Nazis and other far-righters.

The Nazis had little to do with socialism (a term which they used to denote national unity, not the system or ideology of socialism), with mass-privatization programs, austerity, and so on being hallmarks of the Nazi regime. The Nazis also heavily defended private property rights and repressed working class and left-wing movements. The proponents of this argument base it off a false premise of what socialism is; state-ownership, not worker ownership either directly or indirectly through a proletarian dictatorship.[2]

See also


  1. Allen, Claudia (1 Jul 2020). "Finland's air force quietly drops swastika symbol". BBC News. Retrieved 18 Aug 2023.
  2. Scott Sehon (10-9-2020). "No, the Nazis Were Not Socialists". Jacobin.