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National Socialism, sometimes called Nazism, was the ideology of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers’ Party) led by Adolf Hitler. National Socialism is also supported by some contemporary political groups. It is often considered by scholars to be a form of fascism. While it incorporated elements from left-wing and right-wing ideologies, Nazism is regarded as a form of far right politics.[1] The key elements of National Socialism are anti-parliamentarism, Pan-Germanism, racism, collectivism,[2][3] Social Darwinism, eugenics, antisemitism[4], anti-communism, totalitarianism and opposition to economic liberalism and political liberalism.[3][5][6]

The term national socialism was coined by French intellectual Maurice Barrès. His rejections of pluralism, individualism and materialism was based on a combination of the anti-Semitism of the counter-revolutionary right, and the socialism, nationalism, and republicanism of the anti-liberal left, in nineteenth-century France.[7] Historian Robert Toombs sees this amalgamation exemplified in General Georges Ernest Boulanger, a general and politician popular among both royalists and the urban left.[8] Sternhell cites boulangisme as being influential on Fascism, though not Nazism.

Hitler's National Socialism was founded on a biological determinist Weltanschauung (World View), in which history is seen as a racial struggle in the social Darwinian sense.[9] It was a Messianic movement, centered in the Führerprinzip and anchored in the idea that Germany could be saved only through racial purity. Based on antisemitism, anti-Marxism and hyper-nationalism, it manifested itself through pan-Germanism and the quest for Lebensraum.[10]

The National Socialist Program advanced by Hitler in 1920 set out 25 points that were the fundamentals of the Nazi Party. They were prepared in a one-night meeting between Hitler and Anton Drexler, and were presented at a public meeting on 24 February 1920, where they were affirmed by the attendees.

There were attempts to alter the program in the early 1920s, most notably by Gregor and Otto Strasser. Strasserism, an anti-semitic blend of nationalism and socialism, was a response to Hitler's anti-socialist authoritarianism. Hitler defeated Strasserism at the 1926 Bamberg Conference, and the 25 points were soon thereafter declared to be "immutable" at the party's 1926 General Meeting.[11][12]

The National Socialist Program advocated uniting the German people, implementing profit-sharing in industry, nationalizing trusts, providing an extensive welfare state, instituting government control of the media, and persecuting Jews, in part by canceling their German citizenship.[13] It stated: "Only those who are our fellow countrymen can become citizens. Only those who have German blood, regardless of creed, can be our countrymen. Hence no Jew can be a countryman."

Several other political parties have used the name National Socialist Party or National Socialist Movement, and the name has been adopted by neo-Nazi groups in various countries.


  1. ^ Fritzsche, Peter. 1998. Germans into Nazis. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press; Eatwell, Roger, Fascism, A History, Viking/Penguin, 1996, pp.xvii-xxiv, 21, 26–31, 114–140, 352. Griffin, Roger. 2000. "Revolution from the Right: Fascism," chapter in David Parker (ed.) Revolutions and the Revolutionary Tradition in the West 1560-1991, Routledge, London.
  2. ^ Davies, Peter; Dereck Lynch (2003). Routledge Companion to Fascism and the Far Right. Routledge, p.103. ISBN 0415214955.
  3. ^ a b Hayek, Friedrich (1944). The Road to Serfdom. Routledge. ISBN 0415253896.
  4. ^ Payne p. 64.
  5. ^ Hoover, Calvin B. (March 1935). “The Paths of Economic Change: Contrasting Tendencies in the Modern World”, The American Economic Review, Vol. 25, No. 1, Supplement, Papers and Proceedings of the Forty-seventh Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association, pp. 13–20.
  6. ^ Morgan, Philip (2003). Fascism in Europe, 1919–1945. Routledge, p. 168. ISBN 0415169429.
  7. ^ Sternhell.
  8. ^ Tombs pp. 85, 114
  9. ^ Proctor p. 18, 19
  10. ^ Toland p. 40-45; see generally Kershaw.
  11. ^ Toland p. 95-99
  12. ^ Kershaw p. 121-133
  13. ^


  • Browder, George C. (2004). Foundations of the Nazi Police State: The Formation of Sipo and SD. University of Kentucky Press. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0813191114 ("Browder")|0813191114 ("Browder")]]. 
  • Bullock, Alan (1971). Hitler: A Study in Tyranny. New York: Harper & Row. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0060802162 ("Bullock")|0060802162 ("Bullock")]]. 
  • Carsten, F.L. (1982). The Rise of Fascism (2nd Edition). New York: University of California Press. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0520046439 ("Carsten")|0520046439 ("Carsten")]]. 
  • Collier, Martin (2000). Germany 1919-45. Heinemann. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0435327216 ("Collier")|0435327216 ("Collier")]]. 
  • Fest, Joachim C. (2002). Hitler. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0156027542 ("Fest")|0156027542 ("Fest")]]. 
  • Fischer, Conan (2002). The Rise of the Nazis. Manchester University Press. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0719060672 ("Fischer")|0719060672 ("Fischer")]]. 
  • Grant, Thomas D. (2004). Stormtroopers and Crisis in the Nazi Movement: Activism, Ideology and Dissolution. Routledge. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0415196027 ("Grant")|0415196027 ("Grant")]]. 
  • Hoffman, Peter (2000). Hitler's Personal Security: Protecting the Fuhrer, 1921-1945. Da Capo Press. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0306809478 ("Hoffman")|0306809478 ("Hoffman")]]. 
  • Kershaw, Ian (1999). Hitler 1889–1936: Hubris. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0-393-04671-0 ("Kershaw")|0-393-04671-0 ("Kershaw")]]. 
  • Lemmons, Russel (1994). Goebbels and Der Angriff. University of Kentucky Press. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0813118484 ("Lemmons")|0813118484 ("Lemmons")]]. 
  • Machtan, Lothar (2002). The Hidden Hitler. Basic Books. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0465043097 ("Machtan")|0465043097 ("Machtan")]]. 
  • Nyomarkay, Joseph. Charisma and Factionalism in the Nazi Party. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0816658390 ("Nyomarkay")|0816658390 ("Nyomarkay")]]. 
  • Payne, Stanley G. (1996). A History of Fascism, 1914-1945. Routledge. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/xxx ("Payne")|xxx ("Payne")]]. 
  • Proctor, Robert N. (1995). George J. Annas, Michael A. Grodin. ed. The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code: Human Rights in Human Experimentation. Oxford University Press US. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0195101065 ("Proctor")|0195101065 ("Proctor")]]. 
  • Read, Anthony (2004). The Devil's Disciples: Hitler's Inner Circle. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0393048004 ("Read")|0393048004 ("Read")]]. 
  • Sternhell, with Mario Sznajder and Maia Asheri, Princeton University Press, NJ, l994. pg 11
  • Toland, John (1976). Adolf Hitler. New York: Doubleday & Company. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0-385-03724-4 ("Toland")|0-385-03724-4 ("Toland")]]. 
  • Tombs, Robert (1996). France 1814–1914. London: Longman. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/0582493145 ("Tombs")|0582493145 ("Tombs")]]. 
  • Sternhell, Zeev. The Birth of Fascist Ideology, From Cultural Rebellion to Political Revolution. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/yyy ("Sternhell")|yyy ("Sternhell")]]. 


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