The Nazi Party’s official name is the National Socialist Party. Doesn’t that sound somewhat contradicting? In some ways yes, but when looking at the Nazi Party programming, there is some surprising overlap between the two different political theories. Socialism should be defined as advocating for communal ownership and equitable distribution of wealth among its co-operative participants, while Nationalism should be be defined as promoting identification with a political or national entity through socially-constructed policies and lifestyle favorable to the nation it upholds.
For the Nazis, they are promoting a Socialist agenda combined with Nationalistic tendencies. For instance, rule number seven states “We demand that the State shall make it its primary duty to provide a livelihood for its citizens. If it should prove impossible to feed the entire population, foreign nationals must be deported from the Reich.” The first part of the statement is strictly Socialistic, promising to provide food for the entire population, including the proletariat. The second part of the statement is Nationalistic, by saying that in order to sustain the welfare of its citizens, it may have to expel foreigners because ultimately, its the responsibility of the government to only provide for its own citizens.
However, this is about the extent of the inter-connectedness between Socialism and Nationalism. The Nazis believed in Socialism amongst their own people, namely the Aryan race but Nationalism extended to everyone not considered Aryan. This is why the ideology was so contradictory. That’s why the Nazi Party eventually became a Fascist dictatorship instead of a government for the people. Calling themselves National Socialists seemed almost like a way to attract supporters because these two “buzzwords” appealed to the masses of people angry with the weak Weimar government and sought strong leadership who would stand up foreigners who were perceived to be robbing the German people and at the same time, revive the lower class. Instead, Germany got a far right-wing government.