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A Swede in Germany

Nazis IXf: The 25-point plan (remaining items)

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(Please see Nazis IXa for context.)

The remaining points jump from topic to topic in a manner that gives me the choice between a big block, many small blocks, and medium blocks with poor consistency of content. I pick the big block approach.

(Of course, even the earlier blocking used by me is unofficial and not always beyond dispute. It might, for instance, be argued that aspects of item 17 puts it closer to item 18 than the items that I did group it with.)

The skimming reader is encouraged to pay particular attention to item 20.

18. Wir fordern den rücksichtslosen Kampf gegen diejenigen, die durch ihre Tätigkeit das Gemein-Interesse schädigen. Gemeine Volksverbrecher, Wucherer, Schieber usw. sind mit dem Tode zu bestrafen, ohne Rücksichtnahme auf Konfession und Rasse.

(We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.)

A far Left position.

This item might be particularly interesting with an eye on the Jews, and it might be the strongest example of a potential “dog whistle”. However, it could also be a more general anti-Capitalist cry, while the overall is sufficiently vague* that it could include virtually anyone currently unpopular with the Nazis (say, Communists).

*In the first sentence, generally; in the second, with regard to at least “[g]emeine Volksverbrecher” and “usw.”/“and so forth”.

19. Wir fordern Ersatz für das der materialistischen Weltordnung dienende römische Recht durch ein deutsches Gemein-Recht.

(We demand substitution of a German common law in place of the Roman Law serving a materialistic world-order.)

From one point of view, this seems Leftist, as an “anti-materialistic” act.* From another, nationalist, as an attempt to find a purer German or more-suitable-for-the-German-people** law system. Much might depend on unstated details.

*With some reservations for what type of materialism is intended. Is the claim e.g. anti-consumerist or anti-Marxist? My spontaneous reaction was the former, but if the typical everyday and/or political meaning has drifted over the years, I might have been mislead.

**Such thinking was common among the Nazis, that what is fit for the one people/nation is not necessarily fit for another.

20. Um jeden fähigen und fleißigen Deutschen das Erreichen höherer Bildung und damit das Einrücken in führende Stellungen zu ermöglichen, hat der Staat für einen gründlichen Ausbau unseres gesamten Volksbildungswesens Sorge zu tragen. Die Lehrpläne aller Bildungsanstalten sind den Erfordernissen des praktischen Lebens anzupassen. Das Erfassen des Staatsgedankens muß bereits mit dem Beginn des Verständnisses durch die Schule (Staatsbürgerkunde) erzielt werden. Wir fordern die Ausbildung geistig besonders veranlagter Kinder armer Eltern ohne Rücksicht auf deren Stand oder Beruf auf Staatskosten.

(The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program, to enable every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education and subsequently introduction into leading positions. The plans of instruction of all educational institutions are to conform with the experiences of practical life. The comprehension of the concept of the state must be striven for by the school [Staatsbürgerkunde] as early as the beginning of understanding. We demand the education at the expense of the state of outstanding intellectually gifted children of poor parents without consideration of position or profession.)

This is a mixture of ideas that might be Left, non-Left, or irrelevant to Left–Right, depending on exact perspective. For instance, an opinion like “We need more education and education should be state run” is by no means rare on the current non-Left (but might be more common on the Left and must be contrasted with those of us who are sceptical to either or all of the state’s efforts, the amount of education suitable for the average child, and how sensible it is to use schooling to achieve education). For instance, the favoring of intellectually gifted children of poor parents was once popular with the Left, but the modern Left typically denies that there is such a thing as an intellectually gifted child. (And if one exists, it would be WRONG, WRONG, WRONG to give it special treatment, because social justice.) The non-Left, on the other hand, is often in favor of giving the gifted a chance to develop their talents, but is so regardless of “parental SES”.

This is also an example of an item that looks different in light of item 10 and the later heading “Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz” (cf. below). Is the intent to give the individual better opportunities for his own sake, or is it rather, e.g., to give the state or the party suitable individuals to serve its purposes? In the latter case, item 20 looks decidedly more Leftist. As with item 4, I will not constantly address this topic (especially, as I do not guarantee that I would always have the right answer*), but I caution the reader to have a “cui bono” in mind when reading—for whose benefit is this item ultimately intended?** The individual? The NSDAP? The Cause? The whatnot?

*Example: Item 21 pushes mandatory physical fitness. I am tempted to see a connection with military fitness—make the people fit so that we can have a fit army. (Also note a similarity with the ideas of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn and his “Turnbewegung”.) However, I might have an unconscious bias in favor of this explanation, because it would move the interpretation Left-wards and support my main thesis. Certainly, physical fitness has a value in it self, and the item might reflect nothing more than a “be all that you can be” attitude or be a piece of the overall Nazi drive for a strong people. (Especially, if a Lamarckian view of Evolution was applied.)

**Pre-restructuring/-blocking, a version of this paragraph (and the following paragraph) was under item 4 and the caution correspondingly earlier. However, the earlier items seem to have less content where the caution would have been relevant than e.g. item 20 (the current item) does.

A failure to consider such possibilities might be a partial reason for why “Nazis are Right-wing” has survived for so long, in that a Leftist or Socialist streak might have been missed by a too casual observer, just like the anti-Jewish loading of e.g. item 5 might have been missed by a too casual reader of the 25-point plan. (In contrast, the allegedly Right-wing issue of nationalism is blindingly obvious.) Indeed, my impression from other sources points to a fairly general approach of seeming laissez-faire, pro-individualism, whatnot in combination with a “for the good of the Cause” resp. “for the good of the people”, whatnot reservation—stray from the approved path and rights disappear.* Here even a Libertarian-seeming (when viewed extremely superficially) attitude soon turns out to be Leftist and/or totalitarian. (Something to keep in mind when someone on the Left tries to argue e.g. that the Nazis were pro-business—ergo, Right-wing. In reality, to the degree that the claim holds at all, the Nazis were pro-business only as long as the respective business served the Cause—ergo, Left-wing. Also note that pro-business, as applied to the Nazis, by no means implies pro-Capitalist/m.)

*Similarly, the current U.S. Left: you may say whatever you like—as long as it is not wrongthink.

21. Der Staat hat für die Hebung der Volksgesundheit zu sorgen und durch den Schutz der Mutter und des Kindes, durch Verbot der Jugendarbeit, durch Herbeiführung der körperlichen Ertüchtigung mittels gesetzlicher Festlegung einer Turn- und Sportpflicht durch größte Unterstützung aller sich mit körperlicher Jugend-Ausbildung beschäftigenden Vereine.

(The state is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.)

Most of the goals would be uncontroversial today, with reservations for the obligation part. The focus on the state, however, is mostly Leftist. The outlawing of child-labor might have been more strongly Leftist at the time. (Even today, the non-Left tends to be more open to the sometime pragmatical necessity in poorer countries; while the current U.S. Republicans are more positive to work experience over just study than the Democrats.)

I also suspect a partial intent of “outlaw child-labor so that the children can go to school”, which might be a more Leftist position. (Especially, if with the coda “and be indoctrinated into good little Nazis/Communists/SJWs/whatnot”.)

22. Wir fordern die Abschaffung der Söldnertruppe und die Bildung eines Volksheeres.

“We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.”

Not obviously relevant to Left–Right, at least not without deeper investigation of the exact intents. I note that Germany was under great military restrictions after the war, including the abolition of conscription. The intent might have related to the restoration of the status quo ante; and later measures by the Nazis did include renewed conscription.

(Conscription, it self, might be seen as Leftist, as it implies un- or underpaid work for the state as a duty and a severe reduction of self-determination. However, conscription had been common in Germany since the Napoleonic wars, and there need not be any deeper meaning behind it.)

23. Wir fordern den gesetzlichen Kampf gegen die bewußte politische Lüge und ihre Verbreitung durch die Presse.

(We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press.)

Of course, almost everywhere and everywhen, using the law to suppress dissent is a Leftist go to. The Left might not be the only sinner, but by far the worst, be it in Communist dictatorships or the current U.S.

The restriction to alleged lies does not help one iota, as has been seen the last few years, when even expert opinions and scientific research has been labeled “fake news” or “misinformation” for contradicting the Official Truth.

Um die Schaffung einer deutschen Presse zu ermöglichen, fordern wir, daß a) sämtliche Schriftleiter und Mitarbeiter von Zeitungen, die in deutscher Sprache erscheinen, Volksgenossen sein müssen. b) Nichtdeutsche Zeitungen zu ihrem Erscheinen der ausdrücklichen Genehmigung des Staates bedürfen. Sie dürfen nicht in deutscher Sprache gedruckt werden. c) Jede finanzielle Beteiligung an deutschen Zeitungen oder deren Beeinflussung durch Nicht-Deutsche gesetzliche verboten wird und fordern als Strafe für Uebertretungen die Schließung einer solchen Zeitung sowie die sofortige Ausweisung der daran beteiligten Nicht-Deutschen aus dem Reich. d) Zeitungen,* die gegen das Gemeinwohl verstoßen, sind zu verbieten. Wir fordern den gesetzlichen Kampf gegen eine Kunst- und Literaturrichtung, die einen zersetzenden Einfluß auf unser Volksleben ausübt und die Schließung von Veranstaltungen,** die gegen vorstehende Forderungen verstoßen.

(In order to enable the provision of a German press, we demand, that: a. All writers and employees of the newspapers appearing in the German language be members of the race; b. Non-German newspapers be required to have the express permission of the state to be published. They may not be printed in the German language; c. Non-Germans are forbidden by law any financial interest in German publications or any influence on them and as punishment for violations the closing of such a publication as well as the immediate expulsion from the Reich of the non-German concerned. Publications* which are counter to the general good are to be forbidden. We demand legal prosecution of artistic and literary forms which exert a destructive influence on our national life and the closure of organizations** opposing the above made demands.)

*For some reason, the “d) Zeitungen” in the original is matched by a mere “Publications”, instead of “d. Publications”, in the translation.

**“Veranstaltungen” is closer to “events” than “organizations”.

Most of this is nationalist and/or aiming at suppressing dissent and diversity of opinion (usually Leftist, at least today), including attempts to reduce the likelihood of Germans being exposed to non-German (presumably, mostly Jewish) influences. Of particular note is sub-item d (note above footnote!), which again, very Leftist, uses the “general good” to forbid or mandate something. Note that this would not even be restricted to publications that involve alleged lies, but might well refer to truthful claims that do not match the Nazi agenda.* Also note that the remainder of sub-item d broadens the scope well beyond the earlier portions—it is no longer a matter of just the press. (But not as far as the translation makes it seem. Cf. above footnote on “Veranstaltungen” vs “organizations”.)

*Similar suspicions have, of course, been raised again and again over the last few years. For instance, I had not heard Plato’s “noble lie” referenced as often in my entire pre-COVID life, around 45 years, as I have during the less than two-and-a-half year span of COVID panic.

24. Wir fordern die Freiheit aller religiösen Bekenntnisse im Staat, soweit sie nicht dessen Bestand gefährden oder gegen das Sittlichkeits- und Moralgefühl der germanischen Rasse verstoßen. Die Partei als solche vertritt den Standpunkt eines positiven Christentums, ohne sich konfessionell an ein bestimmtes Bekenntnis zu binden. Sie bekämpft den jüdisch-materialistischen Geist in und außer uns und ist überzeugt, daß eine dauernde Genesung unseres Volkes nur erfolgen kann von innen heraus auf der Grundlage:*

(We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework.*)

*The difference in punctuation is present in the sources. The German original presumably leads up to “Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz” below, which the English translation might have missed, leading to a near nonsensical formulation. Replacing “on the framework.” with “on the basis of:” gives an approximate correction.

This has little to do with the Left–Right spectrum, although I do note that constructs like “COMPLETE FREEDOM! (Except when we don’t like it.)” appear to be quite common on the Left. Of course, such “small print” restrictions often turn an alleged thing into its opposite, as I suspect would be the case here. (The question is made more complicated by religions other than Christianity and Judaism likely only having had minuscule representation in Germany at the time, which might have made “religious denominations” (“religiösen Bekenntnisse”) more a matter of “Christian denominations”.)

Concerning “positive Christianity”, I note that this is so severe a distortion of Christianity, as understood by any mainstream denominations known to me, that the use of the name is highly disputable. It appears constructed specifically to serve Nazi purposes and shows so large a disregard for Christianity that it is hardly a less atheistic take than that of e.g. the Soviets. The Soviets pushed atheism to overcome the competition from religions; the Nazis used a constructed/distorted religion for the same purpose.

Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz


*The “[13]” is a footnote indicator from Wikipedia. The footnote claims: ‘”GEMEINNUTZ GEHT VOR EIGENNUTZ” [all caps in original). See: Rabinbach, Anson; and Gilman, Sander L. (2013) The Third Reich Sourcebook Berkeley, California: University of California Press. p.14 ISBN 9780520276833’ In contrast, the German text used by me does not use all caps and does not contain a “GEHT” (or “geht”), which makes me suspect a difference in version. (The “GEHT” does not change the meaning, but does make the statement a “proper” sentence through introducing a verb—which is promptly removed in the translation! The translation is, then, closer to “my” original than to the original it purports to translate…)

This hits one of the core issues of a typical Leftist ideology. It is, indeed, very rare for a Leftist ideology not to have this attitude, be it explicitly or implicitly, be it with specifically Gemeinnutz or with some similar variation, e.g. “the greater good”.

(Unfortunately, taken alone, it falls short of being conclusive proof, as occurrences on the non-Left do exist.)

25. Zur Durchführung alles dessen fordern wir die Schaffung einer starken Zentralgewalt des Reiches. Unbedingte Autorität des politischen Zentralparlaments über das gesamte Reich und seine Organisationen im allgemeinen. Die Bildung von Stände- und Berufskammern zur Durchführung der vom Reich erlassenen Rahmengesetze in den einzelnen Bundesstaaten.*

(For the execution of all of this we demand the formation of a strong central power in the Reich. Unlimited authority of the central parliament over the whole Reich and its organizations in general. The forming of state and profession chambers for the execution of the laws made by the Reich within the various states of the confederation.*)

*Here the German version of the item ends, while the English translation continues “The leaders of the Party promise, if necessary by sacrificing their own lives, to support by the execution of the points set forth above without consideration.”. Maybe the leader’s idealism had diminished between 1920 and 1930? Maybe the translator slipped up and accidentally included a sentence from the Sokal hoax? At any rate, this is another strong indication that different versions were used. (And one discovered even later than the “[13]” issue above.)

Such ideas, now and then, are quite common on the Left. They are now rare on the non-Left, but I do not rule out that the popularity was greater on the non-Left in the past than today‘.


Written by michaeleriksson

May 20, 2022 at 1:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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