Who started World War 2?

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by James Marsh, Jul 10, 2022.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Now, this is not to say that the war was inevitable - there are several points here at which the chain might have been broken and the war prevented. But the causal link is there. And as you can see here, rather than asking who started World War 2, we should be asking what started the World War 2. Because the war would have started without Hitler anyway, if not at the same time and in the same circumstances.[/QUOTE]

    Sorry Domobran7, but... in your broad sweep you're making some pretty severe factual errors. Nazism may have co-opted a few socialist ideas to broaden their appeal but it and fascism were not socialist ideologies. The reasons for Germany and Russia wanting to expand were totally different, not "because socialism", and those reasons matter. Spain didn't "turn to a dictatorship" to protect itself from Communism - the right executed a coup and they had a civil war for Christ's sake. Nazism, fascism, and communism made quite different economic errors, so far as I know.
  2. Domobran7

    Domobran7 Member

    Nazism was socialism, it just added nationalism on top of it. It wasn't just "few socialist ideas", the Nazi economy was full-blown socialism, and was moving towards Communism. It had all the major economic points of Soviet socialism, such as state control over production, and Nazis were also big on social security, nationalization of industry and land reforms - much if not all of it is written very obviously in the Nazi manifesto (25 points), and Hitler also has quite a lot of socialist ideas in Mein Kampf. Hell, even the so-called "Nazi party" became as German Workers' Party (DAP), and then became National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP). Oh, and Nazi flag? It symbolizes national socialism - socialism (red background) with "Aryan" nationalism (white circle with swastika). A.k.a., literally "racist socialism" or "socialist racism", whichever you prefer.

    Fascism was likewise socialism. I had read Mussolini's speeches, and while he says he hates socialism, his own policies are socialist.

    Reason why Soviets wanted to expand in 1920s was because they wanted to export socialism to wider world.
    Reason why Germany wanted to expand was because Germany lacked the resources it needed - primarily food - and so Hitler decided to genocide various undesireables (Jews, Slavs) and conquer territory (primarily Ukraine) to gain those resources.

    War between the revolutionaries and reactionaries in Spain did not begin with Franco. Spanish Civil War was merely the latest episode in a very long conflict which had started with the French Revolution. So saying that "the right executed a coup and they had a civil war" is a massive oversimplification, even though it is technically correct.

    Nazism, Fascism and Communism didn't make quite different economic errors, they made all the same economic errors. It is just that their way of trying to compensate for those errors differed. Nazism and Fascism turned to essentially colonialism, while Communism, well... didn't really compensate, it just chugged around until it failed. Which ironically proved a more successful solution because they didn't piss everybody else off.
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    You give someone and Inch(Cm) they take a Mile (Km).
    They push it and if no resistance is felt then they push it further in the end you have a runaway ideology .
    The advisors advise against but then they get caught up in the ideology through agreement or fear.
    You disagree you are silenced.
    The terror moves forward
    The dictatorship is in full flow until stopped .Sadly we still have a few dictatorships in the 21st century that have continued going to the detriment of their own citizens and the world.
  4. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Oh, to hell with it. I was working on a reply which included reading a 1941 analysis of pre-war Nazi land policy but I can't be bothered. Read beyond Nazi propaganda and look at what they actually did and why they were so opposed to the Communists. It's not worth either of us continuing to spend time on this.
    alberk likes this.
  5. Domobran7

    Domobran7 Member

    They were so opposed to Communists because these were similar ideologies, and so hated each other because they were direct competitors. As for what Nazis did:
    • Prevented sale of land with the Hereditary Land Law in 1933., and essentially tied peasants to land.
    • Implemented centrally-managed "war economy" in 1934., basically taking control of all economic activity.
    • Empowered Ministry of Economics to manage trade in 1934.
    • Ministry of Economics began forcing businesses to organize into cartels, and trade associations were nationalized. (1935)
    • Government began controlling employment, deciding who will work, where, how much, and for how much. (1935)
    • Introduced the Four Year Plan in 1936.
    • Introduced price and wage controls in 1936., and began massive state projects.
    • State began telling the businesses what they could produce, how much and at what price. (1936)
    • State began forcing labor conscription - no worker could switch the workplace, or be dismissed by the employer, without permission of the government employment office. Absence from work was punished by fines or imprisonment. (1938)
    State also centralized and managed social life, and everything from sport groups to opera were controlled and managed by the state. State also attacked the Church, outlawed private firearm ownership, and centralized control over education. Economy was controlled as well: while corporations were technically still owned privately, they were forced to carry out decrees of the central government within the centrally planned economic system; there was no free market at all. As I noted, state told the businesses what they could produce, how much and at what price.

    You may also want to read this:
    Overall, if you dropped somebody from USSR or Communist Yugoslavia into Third Reich, I am not sure they would be able to tell the difference. The only obvious difference between Nazism and Communism is that one focuses on race, the other on class - and that is that.

    And as a matter of fact, Nazis were friendly with Communists before World War 2, because they were similar ideologies. Croatian Ustashi and Yugoslav Communists were best of friends while they were doing time in prisons of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and Communist Party offered no resistance to either German invasion or the Independent State of Croatia. The friendship broke only after Hitler invaded the Soviet Union.

    The opposition to idea that Nazis were socialists is, from what I have seen, based primarily - if not exclusively - on the fact that Nazis and Communists tended to murder each other. But socialists killing other socialists is far from uncommon, so the opposition based on that is simply wrong. Likewise, Communism is far from the only variant of socialism.
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    No. Nazism was nationalism, authoritarianism & racism, with a few other isms encouraged & a word for Socialism bolted on.
    (Probably look to the Strassers for how that word really played out in context...)

    This attempt to directly conflate the two is a recent point of view originating in America, and it doesn't stand. It seems an artefact of the old understandings of 'Left' & 'Right' becoming gradually blurred (Quite possibly combined with a wish to go HA! & call anyone you disagree with Hitler.)
    There is some truth to Horseshoe theories of extreme politics, but the Authoritarianism aspect is the main ground where the 'real world' horseshoe meets, and it isn't enough in pure political terminology to claim the differences are indistinguishable.

    Nazism is of the Right, Communism of the Left. Both extreme examples, and extreme examples of anything often become repulsive. Doesn't mean they're the same, despite similarities.

    This, is not the thread for that discussion.
    Feel free to start another (I think there may be one or two already), but tread bleedin' carefully.
    We have a no modern politics or religion rule. One of the few rules we have, and it has been a good rule... and this whole subject is almost guaranteed to break it if not couched in the most careful 'contemporary context' terms possible. Modern examples will break the rule, comparisons would have to be made only with positions of the era.

    eg. Hitler's relationships with Industrialists etc. Who was seen as Fascist or Communist at the time, and why,.- probably fine.
    Anything at all postwar - probably not fine.

    This isn't the thread.
    Maintain carefulling.
    Domobran7 and Chris C like this.
  7. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I apologize for creating and fuelling the segue, vP. Hope we can return to discussing the origins of the war.

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