Reisman: Why the Nazis Were Socialists

Objectivist economist George Reisman has a new article at the Ludwig von Mises Institute titled “Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian.” The article was originally delivered as a lecture at the Mises Institute’s “The Economics of Fascism, Supporters Summit 2005.” It begins:

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.
When one remembers that the word “Nazi” was an abbreviation for “der Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiters Partei â?? in English translation: the National Socialist German Workers’ Party â?? Mises’s identification might not appear all that noteworthy. For what should one expect the economic system of a country ruled by a party with “socialist” in its name to be but socialism?
Nevertheless, apart from Mises and his readers, practically no one thinks of Nazi Germany as a socialist state. It is far more common to believe that it represented a form of capitalism, which is what the Communists and all other Marxists have claimed.

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