The term ‘Nazi’ is a shortened version of the Hitler-led NSDAP’s (National Socialist German Workers’ Party) name and as such, National Socialism (or Nazism) is more often than not associated with Germans and the German culture, which is an understandable mistake, but mistake nonetheless.
While undeniably Nazism marked the 20th century through the bloodbath that was its reign, both within Germany and in the entirety of World War II, using the German Nation as its vessel to reap havoc and mayhem upon the world, it is not a 20th century phenomenon, and its culture has had centuries of grooming to reach to the (albeit grotesque) pinnacle it did in the 1930s-1940s.
So in order to truly understand the nazi culture, we have to see it not as part of the German culture but as it really is: a pseudo culture that is a composite of patterns and principles as ancient as the earliest civilizations, all gathered up together to form a concentrated doctrine that is adaptable through the distortion and aberration of any National and/or social culture it infects, and which has had trial runs over the ages prior to Hitler’s Germany.
Basic Principles of Nazi Culture
Nazi culture revolves around the core principles of Superiority, Aggression, Imperialism and mongering of ideals.
A specific defining quality of a social group (such as a set of biological traits, or divine selection, or alleged advanced intelligence, or monetary power, etc) is selected to separate the group that has it as de facto Superior to all others.
This ‘Superior’ social group is considered by Nazi culture as de facto (divinely or by nature or both) entitled to domination of the world, reaping the benefits of civilization and exploiting the resources of the world (including the non-Superior social groups) with no restraint or constraint other than whatever suits their own needs and purposes.
The ‘superior’ group recognizes all elements of Human Rights, but only within its own members, and only if there is absolutely no deviance from the ‘superior’ group’s set of principles/ideals/goals. For all those not members of that ‘superior’ group, Human Rights do not apply, because they are not considered humans, but rather a threat to the integrity of humanity and therefore in need of immediate eradication and/or enslavement as beasts of burden, with categorizations that will further dehumanize and objectify them compared to nazi culture ‘superior’ group members.
Nazi culture breeds extreme intolerance and absolutism. All those opposing it, or presenting a risk of opposition, or presenting any sort of threat, realistic or not, to the integrity and supremacy of the ‘superior group’ is dealt with direct attacks and procedures of elimination, including physical extermination. Aggression is not only condoned as a trait, but cultivated and promoted as a healthy agent of defense the ‘superior’ group needs in order to maintain the purity of the element rendering it superior.
Ideas and Rights such as Freedom of Speech, Self-determination, Freedom of Expression and the like have no place within nazi culture, and are considered ‘threats of degeneration’. Their advocates and any works derived from such ideas and/or philosophies promoting them are dealt with swiftly and decisively with a process of excision from the community where the nazi culture dominates.
Tolerance of any sort is perceived as weakness, and weakness is the mark of the inferior, in a culture where nothing is acceptable but ‘superiority and perfection’.
Nazi culture is aggressively imperialistic, seeking to spread and displace and exterminate all social groups and cultures it comes in contact with and which do not make the cut for the nazi definition of ‘superiority’.
Since all real cultures (i.e. ethnic/religious cultures) do have elements of tolerance and coexistence within them, they are by definition to be judged lacking, weak, prone to degeneration and decadence by the nazi culture and as such extermination targets.
The perception of the rest of the world as inferior yields an insatiable imperialistic ire to those of nazi culture, since they feel entitled to it by divine right or nature, and obliged to conquer it lest its existence corrupts their group’s superiority. The glaring double standard between themselves and those who are not nazi is considered the proper natural balance, both socially and biologically.
It comes as no surprise then, that throughout History, empires and colonial states have displayed nazi cultural elements at higher or lower doses, from Ancient Egypt and Ancient Sparta to the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire, the Catholic Church through the ‘Holy’ Inquisition, the Orthodox Church through excommunications and the iconoclastic strife, Islamic ‘jihad’, to Communistic regimes such as Soviet Russia, Capitalism systems such as 21st century neoliberalism, even down to educational systems such as Skinner’s Streaming.
Mongering of Ideals
Nazi culture spreads through the exploitation and professed propagation of the ideals and goals of the society and/or Nation it is infecting. Its propaganda is a sort of pincer movement for its target audience, seeking to gain acceptance and recruiting though both projecting as its goal the integrity of the society’s/Nation’s goals and ideals (professed as superior to all others), and fear mongering that anything other than these goals and ideals or any other sort of expression of these goals and ideals are signs of degeneration heralding the death of the society/Nation it is infecting.
Often it is not easy to discern that a movement is actually a mask for nazi culture, because it tends to occur after the targeted society has been through periods of extreme crisis or is dealing with violent and unbalanced social conditions, and it steals rhetoric from other socially acceptable or previously dominant systems, ethics and culture.
For example, the High Inquisition’s Nazism hid behind the dogma and doctrines of Christianity and literally sought a ‘purging’ of all but Catholic protocols of worship and behavior, in the process trampling over every single one of Christianity’s teachings. Soviets’ Nazism hid behind Marx’s doctrines and philosophy in order to elevate Party members to the superior group that dominated the very People (proletariat) that Marx sought to elevate and benefit, and so on and so forth.
And of course, during Hitler’s Germany, Nazism exploited and parroted the actually pretty leftist tendencies of the German People in the early 1930s to draw them in, combined them with the idea of biological superiority of the Germans (at a time where they suffered a lot of ethnic bashing as the defeated ones of WWI) as the only genuine Aryans of the world, and worked aggression and contempt for non-Germans through continual indoctrination and propaganda, until they were ready to be unleashed for one of the most massive and most violent attempts of forced globalization up until the emergence of corporate neoliberalism.
Nazi culture is like a cancer, able to develop in any culture, any Nation, any religion, and attempts to twist that culture, Nation or religion into a horrid shell of its original beauty capable only of destruction, within and beyond its borders- creating an illing society which, from a point onwards, is seen as such by any healthy citizen and/or individual, regardless of the propaganda and rhetoric. Nazi parties can be found everywhere. Even in the cultures that are synonym to Democracy and Humanitarianism, such as Greece, there have been attempts, though the grecophone offshoot of Nazism is very marginalized and atrophic. Even in Nations that suffered due to racism, such as Egypt, nazism has developed.
Nazism distorts and twists just like cancer, and not one of us is immune to it if the circumstances are just right and we don’t take care never to make a compromise, never to cross the line when it comes to Human Rights, nor allow for these Human Rights to be extended to only a limited privileged few; for at the hands of an evil man, even the purest ideals can be twisted and used as an excuse to exploit, subjugate and destroy our fellow man.