, 30 tweets, 11 min read Read on Twitter
[Thread] So, once again, @DineshDSouza has trotted out the tired "Nazis were socialists" argument. He does appear to have at least taken a picture of the cover of a scholarly book though, so that's something. Let's talk about this (again) 🤦‍♂️
First, off, let's just be clear about WHY DD and other conservatives make this argument in the first place. The argument goes something like this: "Socialism is bad. The Nazis were socialists (and very bad). All Democrats want socialism. Therefore, all Democrats are very bad."
It's the transitive property of stupid. And it's illogical, fallacious, and intellectually dishonest, but here we are.

(See cartoon by conservative Robert McCray)
If you want a beatdown of this argument in general that has already been issued, see @MikeStuchbery_'s NSFW (but still on point) refutation.

I also wrote a thread on this when Representative Mo Brooks (R-AL) tried to float this argument ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE...by (mis)reading from "Mein Kampf"

In any case, DD apparently has "discovered" the work of German scholar Götz Aly. He might have even read it. He DID take a screen shot. In any case, not surprisingly, he gets it wrong...and cherry picks it for his "argument," riding Aly's legitimacy.

What DD doesn't know (probably because he lacks any historical training) is that Aly's work, while very important, is not without controversy. Indeed, he sometimes seems to be provocative to trigger important discussions that haven't taken place...like mass Nazi theft.
So, back to Aly's book (Hitler's Beneficiaries) which DD claims proves his argument that the Nazis were socialist. He throws around "welfare state," and "state-funded vacations" without really comprehending Aly's main thesis.
Aly argues in his book (controversially) that the role of massive expropriation at the individual, community, and national level in the Third Reich was used to buy loyalty from Germans and that this loyalty was pivotal to Hitler's popularity.
His book is a great contribution to #Holocaust scholarship, especially as his demonstrates how deeply corruption, theft of wealth, and genocide touched the ordinary German and were also key to the stability of the Reich.
He makes it clear that the motivation behind what DD sees as "socialism" was, in Aly's own words, "political opportunism," not an ideology. (see p. 314)
Aly notes that "welfare" designed to placate the Germans. This is in keeping with Hitler's intense desire that (based on the WWI homefront experience) no German actually FEEL the economic effects of the war. (See also the great reluctance to introduce rationing)
Aly on p. 323 on how economic bribery was an improvised measure to ensure the loyalty of an increasingly victimized people.
We should note that in a 326 page book, Aly devotes 16 pages to what he calls "Nazi socialism." He does here suggest there are some commonalities with other "egalitarian movements" but he hardly calls Hitler a socialist.
Aly is pretty clear why people supported the Nazis...and he isn't really saying it's socialism, certainly not democratic socialism or anything like it today.
Those "state-funded vacations?" Part of Hitler's "Kraft durch Freude" (Strength through Joy) program which sought to give vacations to increase quality of life. It provided modest events, all of which ended in 1939.
But Aly is not without his critics. Particularly as he makes his more controversial arguments like those below:
Were DD INTERESTED, he could have found the critiques by economic historian Adam Tooze. But, since he isn’t a scholar, of Nazi Germany, DD doesn’t speak German and couldn’t access most of this debate. A very detailed summary (from @adam_tooze) is below: adamtooze.com/2017/01/25/wha…
Tooze points out in a review for the @Telegraph some important weaknesses in Aly's provocative book below

For a popular refutation of the claim that Hitler was socialist, see this Vox piece. Pay particular attention to Hitler's rejection of the more "socialist" members of his party, who were excised before the Nazis came to power.

In any case, hopefully this will be the LAST time we have to rehash this nonsense argument (regardless of where you stand on socialism).
Good old @DineshDSouza is an ideologue who doesn't understand ideology. He abuses history because he is not an historian. His ideas lack context because he doesn't know the literature...or the context. He is tinkerer, assembling faulty argument from mismatched parts.
But, at least, he provides a #threaducation opportunity for rational and reasonable people to discover the truth about the Nazi state.
I dedicate this thread to my @Twitter Doktorvater, @KevinMKruse and all the other #Twitterstorians who engage people like Didnt D'dothereading, not to argue with them, but to present #history to the rest of us.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Dr. Waitman W. Beorn
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!