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The Differences between Socialism and National Socialism



Even though they sound almost similar, socialism and National Socialism are different political ideologies that first emerged in the 19th century. While aspects of National Socialism such as the importance of maintaining the Übermensch, or race of supermen, were first embraced by 18th and 19th German leaders, this political ideology only became the German state’s official ideology after World War One (Holian, 2011). Adolph Hitler, who was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, used National Socialism to bring Germans across the nation under his leadership. Socialist ideology, on the other hand, first gained prominence in Wales during the 19th century.

In the 1820s, the Welshman Robert Owen created a series of collectives in the American Midwest and in the UK (Holian, 2011). He rejected the notion that the wealthy have a right to own vast land and financial resources, and proposed that community wealth should be shared equally among all its members. In the 1840s and 50s, his ideas were embraced by German philosophers whose writings on the subject would be widely circulated (Holian, 2011).

Differences Between Socialism and National Socialism

There are numerous differences between socialism and National Socialism. National Socialism has its roots in 18th century Prussian tradition, when leaders like Fredrick the Great and Fredrick William I presented the militant spirit as the model for civic life (Loughlin, 2001). This political ideology would receive further reinforcement from scholars like Friedrich Nietzsche who proclaimed that Germans were a superior race, and the Comte de Gobineau who emphasized the cultural and racial purity of the Nordic peoples (Loughlin, 2001). Even though there are numerous parties that champion National Socialism in many European nations today, this political ideology was not originally created to meet the needs of people outside the German state. National Socialism was originally meant to build on the special identity of all ethnic German citizens.

In contrast, socialism emerged as a political ideology that would challenge capitalism by championing the distribution of national wealth to all classes of society. The German philosopher, Karl Marx, asserted that socialism would address the unequal distribution of wealth in all the nations where it was adopted (Holian, 2011). According to Eccleshall (1994), the word socialism actually means common ownership, and the aim of socialists is to equally distribute the world’s resources among all its peoples.

In nations that embrace socialism, workers are perceived as the real owners of production processes (Eccleshall, 1994). The aim of socialism is to prevent wage labor and production processes from being perceived as commodities. By giving workers the rights to national resources, socialism capitalizes on use value, rather than exchange value (Eccleshall, 1994). National Socialism permits the private ownership of national resources and production processes. In Nazi Germany, foreign corporations like IBM and Ford were not nationalized when Hitler became the Fuhrer. According to Bel (2006), Hitler’s government privatized four banks and several steelwork companies, and gained a lot of revenue by taxing these large corporations (Loughlin, 2001).

While socialism prevents class wars by asserting that no social class of people is more deserving than the other, National Socialism makes use of corporatism to bring together workers and entrepreneurs (Bel, 2006). In nations that embraced National Socialism and socialism, citizens were expected to contribute to state projects on a daily basis. However, this objective was accomplished in different ways.

In Nazi Germany which embraced National Socialism, the superior abilities of Aryan citizens were exalted in an effort to appeal to individual pride. Germans wanted to take part in nation-building projects because of the feeling of patriotism, and a sense of pride in being members of the fatherland. In contrast, socialism encourages public participation in national projects by stressing on the importance of belonging to a collective, rather than operating on individual strength.


National Socialism and socialism are two different political ideologies that first emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries respectively. Socialism advocates for the equal distribution of wealth across all social classes, while National Socialism is more focused on building pride in the special abilities of the Aryan race, rather than solving the long-standing problem of inequality.

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  1. The only difference between socialism and national socialism is the nationalistic belief in the Aryan race. Both progressive left wing policies believe in government as the answer to every problem, and the destruction of the innocent, the helpless, and the powerless, and believe they operate above the law, despite what they tell their supporters.

    • Of course you’re definitely a biased republican. You’re words are wrong as usual since national socialism was not leftism. Keep up your lies and keep dividing the nation.

      • Spot on!

      • Just saying it doesn’t make the leftism go away. Nazism, like all fascism, is authoritarian, collective, anti-free trade and opposes the free movement of capital.

        Nothing about fascism is right wing. It’s anathema to individuality and free markets.

        Just look at Nazi policy – all leftist. Purging the Jews was getting rid of the owner class seen as a threat to the collective. It’s perfectly leftist.

      • The only real difference between National Socialism and International Socialism is about 100,000,000 million DEATHS.

    • You can’t argue with those who want to defend the leftist connection to Nazism. But this book has helped a few of the leftists in my neck of the woods to see the reality: “The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left,” by Dinesh D’Souza.

      I’m not a major fan of D’Souza, but he’s paid the price and even served time as a political prisoner under the Nazi Obama regime.

  2. Socialism is an inherently dysfunctional system that inevitably leads to democide.

    Nazism is Statism as is Socialism, these ideologies are promoted and controlled (via propaganda) by government usurpers who’s natural inclination is always more and more power inevitably leading to full blown Communism.

    Death toll by Socialism/Communism:

    Stalin – 60,000,000
    Mao – est. 70,000,000
    Hitler – 21,000,000
    Pol Pot – 1,700,000
    Kim II Sung – 1,600,000
    Ho Chi Minh – 200,000
    Castro, Guevera – 50,000

    154,550,000 murdered by Socialist governments in the 20th century alone.

    People like to trivialize these numbers and esp. what Socialism is but I encourage people to study Communism and Socialism until you have an implicit understanding of what we are dealing with — once you do you will understand why it is the most evil (evil and seductive ideology) form of collective thought the world has ever known.

    In addition to this, I see the argument that Capitalism has killed millions as well. This is a lie. It is corporate welfare (Socialism for the corporation or war machine by the Gov. i.e. the government in bed with the corporation or war machine) or Crony Capitalism.

    Both systems are Statist (state sponsored), Socialist systems which inevitably lead to mass murder.

    Capitalism as in the free market has never killed anyone en masse; that is a ridiculous notion. The free market or Laissez-Faire (gov. hands off) Capitalism is a mere extension of healthy human action and a necessary means in which a society lives in peace and cohesion. Most indigenous cultures were traders and Capitalists.

    It is the excessive taxation (by and for the State) and regulations ($ for the State) that have drowned out this simple Truth; leaving us today with little or no choice in which to find Individual freedom, liberty and justice; both social and economic. So by design the State promotes the idea of Democratic Socialism which is merely a bridge to Socialism/Communism.

    The only fight is the individual versus the State and that is exactly what is happening today in 2016. Let us hope that global Socialism does not prevail this time as the death toll would be astronomical — and guess what? They would still trivialize all of the murders arguing “people just starved” or “the murdered were bad people, etc”

    This is the sickness of Socialism. A collective [the State and her brainwashed followers; countries, constituent etc.] attempt by the State to control Reality by force, by the gun — all with good intentions and a loving heart of course.


    • The Nazis forcibly privatized most of the economy, and your claim of 150 million people dead is a literal lie; I say this as someone who can’t stand Marxist-Leninists. Most anarchist politics are left wing for a reason.

      You are an idiot and probably American.

      • Matt,
        Idiots are all over the world, being a cunt does not make you an American lol

      • Well said!

      • No, Matt, the 150 million is a conservative estimate given the wartime deaths and the violence that followed the collapse of the Eastern Bloc.

        The Yugoslav & Bosnian wars, for example, can be largely attributed to the forced integration under the internationalist policies of the Soviet Union. Violence also erupted in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and obviously the Romanian Revolution.

        The death tally rarely includes things like the communist orphanages in Romania, where the death toll simple isn’t known. We only know that half a million children *survived*.

      • More like anti American and anti European I am American and I believe in national socialisim 14/88

  3. Where exactly does Nietzsche say the Germans are a superior race? The one group of people Nietzsche really hated was Germans!

    • Friedrich Nietzsche was German. So he hated his people and himself?

      • Here is what Wikipedia says about Nietzsche:

        The Nazi notion of the master race also spawned the idea of “inferior humans” (Untermenschen) who should be dominated and enslaved; this term does not originate with Nietzsche, who was critical of both antisemitism and German nationalism. In his final years, Nietzsche began to believe that he was in fact Polish, not German, and was quoted as saying, “I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood”.

  4. The Soviet Union was not a Socialist State it was a right wing deviation of Socialism. The USSR was a Totalitarian system. Socialism in it’s traditional form is the workers control production. The Soviet Union was state owned companies which is the opposite. Also Traditional Socialism believe I’m less institutional and govermocontrol not more, If Marx had seen the USSR he would turn in his grave.

    • James, can you give us an example of a successful socialist system? Where has socialism actually resulted in a more “fair” distribution of resources? Can anybody please give me one example?

  5. Jack C. Slavery killed millions of people and created the capitalism we know today so you are talking rubbish…. more propaganda for the Far Right. Everyone knows that the Nazi’s are right wing not Socialist since national socialism is entirely different to socialism which is intended to promote fairness and equality but you fail to mention that for some reason… Take the oozie from you back passage now and relax Jack bwoy.

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References :

[0]Bel, G. (2006). The coining of ‘privatization’ and Germany’s National Socialist Party. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20 (3), 187-194. Retrieved from http://www.ub.edu/graap/JEP.pdf

[1]Eccleshall, R. (1994). Political Ideologies: An Introduction. London: Psychology Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=RJcI7AsNO28C&pg=PA91&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false

[2]Holian, A. (2011). Between National Socialism and Soviet Communism. Project Muse. Retrieved from https://muse.jhu.edu/books/9780472027675

[3]Loughlin, M. B. (2001). Gustave Hervé's Transition from Socialism to National Socialism: Continuity and Ambivalence. Journal of Contemporary History, 38 (4), 515-538. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0xb4crOvCgTX2VuN0JwYlA1ZzQ/edit


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