Similarities and differences between 1930s dictatorships

May 2014
196
Norway
I have many people say the Nazi party was extreme right wing, I have heard people say they were left wing, and I have heard people said the are centre politics or that it does not fit in on the political scale.

My question is what are the differences in the politics between Hitlers Germany, Stalins Soviet union and Mussolinis Italy and what is the similarities and differences in their politcal systems, economical systems and ideology in general?

What exactly about these ideologies is it that makes nazism,fascism and communism left or right?

The similarities I can think of is that all three are totalitarian and authoritarian, they are dictatorships and their systems opposes liberalism and capitalism.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,050
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Well, first of all ... why "right", "left", "center" and not "top", "bottom" ... well, there was a time where the "mountaineers" existed for real [the representatives sitting in the top seats of the Convention at Paris were called "Montagnardes"!].

And it was in Paris [a bit before of the Revolution] that the term "right" and "left" appeared: simply when the States gathered in the assembly of the general states in May 1789, the conservatives and the moderates took a seat at the right of the President, while the revolutionaries took a seat at his left.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,050
Italy, Lago Maggiore
This general division with the orientation to preserve the existing system [so a conservative attitude] and on the other side the orientation to change the system [so a progressive attitude] has survived through the last centuries.

Actually today this differentiation is less evident. Since at left there is no more a majority wanting a revolution, they are less progressive and more conservative than in the past. But also we, conservatives, we are actually "moderates", since we tend to be more progressive [accepting that change is functional and organic to a political system].

But, purposes a part, if we think to dictatorships, their methods were absolutely comparable, may be with some differences coming from the ideological background [a communist cannot exterminate a population on a racial base ... but because of the general interests Soviets didn't hesitate to cause tremendous starvation in Ukraine ... causing the death of millions of persons ...].
 
May 2014
196
Norway
Well, first of all ... why "right", "left", "center" and not "top", "bottom" ... well, there was a time where the "mountaineers" existed for real [the representatives sitting in the top seats of the Convention at Paris were called "Montagnardes"!].

And it was in Paris [a bit before of the Revolution] that the term "right" and "left" appeared: simply when the States gathered in the assembly of the general states in May 1789, the conservatives and the moderates took a seat at the right of the President, while the revolutionaries took a seat at his left.
I personally think the left-rightscale is a bit outdated, but what side their different views be classified as?
 
Apr 2016
900
Netherlands
I think Nazism and Stalinism can only be classified as totalitarianism. The political structures are almost the same, there are some differences in economic aspects and in who was undesirable/an enemy of the people, but they are variations on the same theme of totalitarianism.
 
May 2014
196
Norway
I think Nazism and Stalinism can only be classified as totalitarianism. The political structures are almost the same, there are some differences in economic aspects and in who was undesirable/an enemy of the people, but they are variations on the same theme of totalitarianism.
Nazi enemies: Jews, communists,slavs,gipsys and homosexuals+political dissidents. The nazis killed people because of race.

Communist enemies: All politcal opponents or possible political opponents.

What is the economical aspects?
Didn't both use plan economy?

Nazism is race struggle, while communism is class struggle.
 

holoow

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
3,841
Vilnius, Lithuania
Nazi enemies: Jews, communists,slavs,gipsys and homosexuals+political dissidents. The nazis killed people because of race.

Communist enemies: All politcal opponents or possible political opponents.

What is the economical aspects?
Didn't both use plan economy?

Nazism is race struggle, while communism is class struggle.
Homosexuals were persecuted in stalinist Soviet Union.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,506
there are two types of people, those that break down people into two types and those that do not.

totalitarian regimes have many similarities and in many ways are shaped by there methods rather than their putative ideology.

the nazis were the radical wing of the German right wing, (though with some nominal 'socialist' platform) they were allied with, funded by and shared most of their values with other German right wing parties.

Mussolinis Italy was no where nears totalitarian the racists government but did not take on the total re-shaping of society that way the Nazis and communists. in both the soviet union and nazi Germany ALL collective organisations were nazified or soveitised. you local marching band, stamp club, hunting club, choir, university, doctors organisation, student bodies, unions were all organised as part of the nazi party or communists party.( in the end even german Jewish organisations were organised somewhat according to Nazi principles)

in the end the enemies either the soviets or Nazis was anyone having on to any sort of independence, a bit borg like,
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,050
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I personally think the left-rightscale is a bit outdated, but what side their different views be classified as?
I tend to prefer ...

almost conservative / almost progressive

or ...

cautious / ill-equipped [but this would be a biased comment, so consider it just a bit of conservative humor].
 
Apr 2015
627
Paris
And it was in Paris [a bit before of the Revolution] that the term "right" and "left" appeared: simply when the States gathered in the assembly of the general states in May 1789, the conservatives and the moderates took a seat at the right of the President, while the revolutionaries took a seat at his left.
To be precise, it comes from a vote in august 1789 about the right of vetoing for the King in the constitutional debate. The representatives opposed went left, the supporters went right in the rectangular hall at Versailles. When the Assembly moved to Paris, the distinction was somewhat blurred : the Montagnards sat on the right side.

And, as french philosopher Alain once wrote : "I do not know who said 'no right, no left', but he was certainly not a man from the left". Historically, left-wing parties had claimed their identity as progressive parties while right-wing ones had claimed the inexistence of such a left/right distinction (meaning of course theirs ideas were the only ones to be true). For example, there was a "Dynastic Left" movement in France since the 1830, while there was no movement calling itself "Right".

But as historians, we can and I think we should use these distinctions based upon analysis of political programs and actions. We must no be trapped by the rhetorics of the said parties. For example, the nazis "socialism" was a face since Hitler's takeover : it was purely a far-right party. The 1920 "25-points program" had some points what could be interpreted as left-wing, but these points, such as nationalization of trust-owned companies, were precisely the ones the Nazis did not put into action when they were in power, while its far-right points ("We want a Greater Germany" "No Jew can be a citizen"), were.