Return to Fascism and Communism/Socialism
During the Hitler years—in order to finance the party’s programs, including the war expenditures—every social group in Germany was mercilessly exploited and drained. White-collar salaries and the earnings of small businessmen were deliberately held down by government controls, freezes, taxes. Big business was bled by taxes and “special contributions” of every kind, and strangled by the bureaucracy . . . . At the same time the income of the farmers was held down, and there was a desperate flight to the cities—where the middle class, especially the small tradesmen, were soon in desperate straits, and where the workers were forced to labor at low wages for increasingly longer hours (up to 60 or more per week).
But the Nazis defended their policies, and the country did not rebel; it accepted the Nazi argument. Selfish individuals may be unhappy, the Nazis said, but what we have established in Germany is the ideal system, socialism. In its Nazi usage this term is not restricted to a theory of economics; it is to be understood in a fundamental sense. “Socialism” for the Nazis denotes the principle of collectivism as such and its corollary, statism—in every field of human action, including but not limited to economics.
“To be a socialist,” says Goebbels, “is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole.”
By this definition, the Nazis practiced what they preached. They practiced it at home and then abroad. No one can claim that they did not sacrifice enough individuals.