The idea that the Nazis were socialists is transparently absurd. Unfortunately, it’s also an idea that prominent figures on the Right like Sen. Rand Paul have taken up. So let’s all say it together now: no, the Nazis were not socialists. They were, in fact, committed anti-socialists.
Scott Sehon is a professor of philosophy at Bowdoin College and the author of Free Will and Action Explanation. He is currently working on a book titled Socialism for Smart People.
A deep commitment to democracy is at the heart of the socialist project. Anticommunists have historically claimed they oppose states like the Soviet Union out of a concern for democracy. But those anticommunists’ real project has nothing to do with democracy — and everything to do with smashing the Left.