Difference Between Nazism and Socialism

Nazism vs Socialism

Nazism is a political ideology that was once very popular in Germany under the rule of Adolf Hitler. It was a system of governance that believed in the superiority of the German race while trying to get rid of the Jews from the population. The reason why people confuse between Nazism and socialism is because of the fact that the official name of the Nazi party of Germany contained the word Socialist. However, Hitler was of the opinion that communists presented distorted view of socialism. There are as such many differences between socialism and Nazism that will be highlighted in this article.


Nazism is an ideology that is credited to Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party before WW II and through events running up to it. The word Nazi comes from the pronouncement of the first two syllables of the word national in German language. The actual name of the party was the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Hitler believed socialism of the communist states a distorted version of socialism and considered himself to be a socialist. However, the ideology of the party was one of the far right wing political party as it believed in the superiority of the German race (called Aryans) and tried to exterminate Jews from among the population. Nazi party cleverly coined the phrase Third Reich and combined elements of socialism of the left and fascism of the right to come up with a unique political ideology.

Nazism advocated nationalism and a totalitarian government with a racist society dominated by German race. Historians believe that the inclusion of the word socialist in the name of the party was a misnomer and only a gimmick to attract popular votes to continue rule over the region.


Socialism is a social and economic theory propounded by Karl Marx that believes in ownership of the assets and means of production by the state. This method of common ownership was devised as a means to achieve a classless society in which everyone was equal. The practice of socialism is varied, and there are many models of socialism within different political systems ranging from communism to democracy, and even right wing Nazism. It is the distribution of production according to the contribution that is the chief characteristic of socialism. Right from the time of Karl Marx and till today, socialism has been construed as an economic theory that favors the working classes and criticizes industrialization and entrepreneurship. Thus, socialism has always been in direct opposition to capitalism.

What is the difference between Nazism and Socialism?

• Socialism is a social and economic theory whereas Nazism is a political ideology.

• Socialism talks about common ownership of assets and means of production to help achieve the goal of a classless society, whereas Nazism does not object to private property and believes in the superiority of the German race.

• Nazis believed themselves to be socialists of a different variety rather than socialists as envisaged by Karl Marx.

• Nazism advocates extreme nationalism whereas socialism does not talk about boundaries.

• Hitler did not like the fact that Karl Marx, the developer of Socialism, was of Jewish descent as he was in favor of extermination of all Jews.

  • YellowYam

    I would rather someone wrote an article *comparing* the two, rather that citing the minor differences between them as if they were all consuming and calling on the aid of the court historians when it turns out not to make any sense.

    • Mikado Hikyuu

      Calling racism, nationalism, and fascism “minor differences” is hardly an educated opinion.

  • Drynn

    It’s fun that this article consistently refers to Nazism as right-wing, then labels the origin of Nazism as a hybrid between the far-right and the far-left.

    • Mikado Hikyuu

      The far-Left and far-Right are both forms of Fascism; they simply choose different groups to scapegoat and direct their fear and hate toward. The Right (which has largely embraced the ideology of the far-Right) in USA demonizes the poor, the Liberal Progressives, the LGBTQIA, the minorities, specifically the Blacks, the Hispanics, Muslims, and immigrants.

      The far-Left demonizes the rich, the Capitalists, the Conservatives, the racists, the homophobic, the Fundamentalists…

  • http://www.kcchiefsbeat.com/ David E. Bell

    the defense of socialism, which fails to compare the result of socialism which is the political ideology of “Force”. huh.

  • Justin Smith

    What the Nazis have introduced in Germany is a form of graduated Bolshevism, directing their first attack not against the capitalist class as a whole, but against Jewish capitalists, excoriated on racial rather than economic grounds…Nor is there reason to expect that the Nazis will stop at this point.

    Vera Micheles Dean, Europe in Retreat, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York (1939 revised edition), p. 207.

  • American Mutt

    I was looking for a non-bias explanation of the two but for some reason the articles always want to put the Germans killed jews slant on it and it detracts from the information.

    • Mikado Hikyuu

      You cannot divest the original Nazism from the Holocaust, as the Nazi ideology brought about the Holocaust. Even though the right-wing American Nazism, rebranded variously as white supremacy, white nationalism, Neo-Nazism, and the sub-groups, such as the Skinheads, Crew 38, Christian Identity, the Fundamentalist Movement, and including the separate, American-born racist hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Neo-Confederacy (which apparently wants to be called the Alt-Right, now) which was NOT responsible for the Holocaust, still spreads the SAME bigotry, the SAME nationalism, the SAME white supremacist ideology of hate and fear. The beliefs of Nazism were NOT true Socialism, just as the beliefs of the white nationalists in USA are not true patriotism. Evil is still evil, even if you pretend it is not.

  • Jevioso Orishas

    This article gets things completely wrong.

    The reason why the Nazi’s created Nationalist Socialism was because they in fact wanted to balance aspects of socialism and aspects of nationalism for their imperial ambitions. The Nazis did not like the supposed “worker’s owning the means of production” aspects of capital, but they did want the government ownership aspects of the means of production, as well as education and many of the other necessities that Marx suggested were necessary to bring an end to capitalism.

    The other reason why the Nazis wanted a combination of nationalism and socialism was because they despised the core part of capitalism which is private property and they believed that in order to achieve the 3rd Reich, such things had to be abandoned.

    Socialists have always escaped the realm of objective definitions all the way back to the Utopian variety. But as Tocqueville said in the 19th century, the idea that unites all forms of socialism together, whether it be the Anarchists, the Utopians, the Revolutionaries etc, is either the abridgment or complete elimination of private property rights all over the world. Understanding that, it’s quite easy to see that there was and is, little difference between the socialists and the nationalists, and thus why the Nazis had no problem absorbing both of them, and reaching the same results as Fascist Italy and Communist Soviet Union.

    All roads leading away from private property, and thus capitalism, have a tendency of arriving at the same destination of totalitarianism rather than the dreamt workers’ paradises and technocratic utopias often suggested by the intellectuals of socialism. A lesson that was pretty well established by the end of the 20th century. But then again, who learns from history?