From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Nazism, or National Socialism (Nationalsozialismus) in full, was the ideology of the Nazi Party in Germany and related movements outside Germany. It is a variety of fascism that incorporates biological racism and antisemitism. Nazism developed in Germany from the influence of the far-right racist Völkisch German nationalist movement and the anti-communist Freikorps paramilitary culture which fought against the communists in post-World War I Germany. The German Nazi Party and its affiliates in Germanic states supported pan-Germanicism. It was designed to draw workers away from communism and into völkisch nationalism. Major elements of Nazism have been described as far-right, such as allowing domination of society by people deemed racially superior, while purging society of people declared inferior, who were said to be a threat to national survival.
Nazism claimed that an Aryan master race was superior to all other races. To maintain what it regarded as the purity and strength of the Aryan race, Nazis sought to exterminate Jews and Romani, and the physically and mentally disabled. Other groups deemed "degenerate" or "asocial" received exclusionary treatment, including homosexuals, blacks, Jehovah's Witnesses and political opponents. The Nazis supported territorial expansionism to gain Lebensraum ("living space") as being a law of nature for all healthy and vigorous peoples of superior races growing in population to displace peoples of inferior races; especially people of a superior race facing overpopulation in their given territories. Nazism rejected democracy because it believed Jews used it for their self-preservation.
The German Nazi Führer Adolf Hitler had objected to the party's previous leader's decision to use the word "Socialist" in its name, as Hitler at the time preferred to use "Social Revolutionary". Upon taking over the leadership, Hitler kept the term but defined socialism as being based upon a commitment of an individual to a community. Hitler did not want the ideology's socialism to be conflated with Marxian socialism. He claimed that true socialism does not repudiate private property unlike the claims of Marxism, and stated that the "Marxians have stolen the term and confused its meaning" and "Communism is not socialism. Marxism is not socialism." Nazism denounced both capitalism and communism for being associated with Jewish materialism. Nazism favoured private property, freedom of contract, and promoted the creation of a national solidarity that would transcend class differences. Like other fascist movements, Nazism supported the outlawing of strikes by employees and lockouts by employers, because these were regarded as a threat to national unity. Instead, the state controlled and approved wage and salary levels.
Romanticism and Nazism
German Romanticism and the völkisch ideologies were influential in the development of Nazism. Authors such as Thomas Mann and Georg Lukács have advanced the thesis of romanticism as the intellectual parent of Nazism (Rereading Romanticism).
- 1940s subcultures
- Consequences of German Nazism
- Degenerate art
- Degenerate music
- Fascism and ideology
- First they came...
- Final Solution
- Functionalism versus intentionalism
- German nationalism
- Nazi exploitation
- Nazi Germany
- Nazi occultism
- New Order (Nazism)
- Weimar culture
- Women in the Third Reich