Well, it’s an ill wind that blows no good, eh? I suppose National Socialism was ok if you were a Aryan German who was not a criminal, homeless, or mentally or physically handicapped, or a dissident. All those folks went to concentration camps, or prison, or slave labor, or got bullets in the head.
There was a positive aspect, to wit:
- Full employment
- Heavy spending on public education
- National health care
- More or less guaranteed employment for non-troublesome workers
- Secular, separation of church and state
- Anti-smoking public health initiative
- Pro-choice, free abortion available on demand
- Gun control
- Generous old age pensions
All of these fall into the realm of what we consider to be social democracy or modern social liberalism.
Nazism was definitely a very strange movement. It’s almost unclassifiable.
In terms of whether they were capitalist or socialist, they may well have been something else altogether, something in between.
Socialists generally favor the workers at the expense of the capitalists and the rich. They are usually hated by big business because they side with labor and restrict the profits of capital. Nazis didn’t side with workers against capital.
Capitalists generally favor the capitalists against the workers, consumers, society, the environment, the nation, everything is sacrificed to the God of Capital. Workers, consumers, society and the environment are openly attacked by the capitalist state. This doesn’t describe the Nazis either.
They seemed to be trying for some sort of a balance between the interests of capital and the interests of the workers. Surely, society, the environment, the nation and the state were elevated above both workers and capital.
Nazi fascism was all about the state. Everything was for the state. Workers worked for the interests of the state. Capitalists ran their enterprises for the betterment of the state. Capitalists who defied government directives could go to concentration camps or prison or be executed. Workers who defied their bosses or went on strike (harming the state) faced the same fate.
It’s probably best to see Nazi economics as some weird Third Way that isn’t really capitalism or socialism. They also mixed in some social democratic policies along with some liberal or even progressive social initiatives.
All of these good things of course were negated by the bad, which crushed and overwhelmed anything good they did with a tidal wave of evil.