"Let's start with the second part first. Some respondents confuse Nazism, a political party platform, with fascism, which is a particular structure of government. Fascism legally sanctions the persecution of a particular group within the country — political, ethnic, religious — whatever. So within Nazism there are elements of fascism, as well as militarism, capitalism, socialism etc. To tar all socialists with the national socialist brush is as absurd as citing Bill Gates and Augusto Pinochet in the same breath as examples of free market capitalism.
Economically, Hitler was well to the right of Stalin. Post-war investigations led to a number of revelations about the cosy relationship between German corporations and the Reich. No such scandals subsequently surfaced in Russia, because Stalin had totally squashed the private sector. By contrast, once in power, the Nazis achieved rearmament through deficit spending. One of our respondents has correctly pointed out that they actively discouraged demand increases because they wanted infrastructure investment. Under the Reich, corporations were largely left to govern themselves, with the incentive that if they kept prices under control, they would be rewarded with government contracts. Hardly a socialist economic agenda!
But Nazi corporate ties extended well beyond Germany. It is an extraordinarily little known fact that in 1933 a cabal of Wall Street financiers and industrialists plotted an armed coup against President Roosevelt and the US Constitutional form of government. The coup planners — all of them deeply hostile to socialism — were enthusiastic supporters of German national socialism and Italian fascism. Details of the little publicised Congressional report on the failed coup may be read in 1000 Americans:The Real Rulers of the USA by George Seldes.
Fascism, according to the American Heritage Dictionary (1983) is A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism. Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile's entry in the Encyclopedia Italiana read: Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power. No less an authority on fascism than Mussolini was so pleased with that definition that he later claimed credit for it.
Nevertheless, within certain US circles,the misconception remains that fascism is essentially left wing, and that the Nazis were socialists simply because of the "socialism" in their name. We wonder if respondents who insist on uncritically accepting the Nazis' cynical self-definition would be quite as eager to believe that the German Democratic Republic was democratic."