Theories of Government: National Socialism

Name: Jamie Cox

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Title: National Socialism (Nazism)

Element 1 (450-500 words): Racialism

(You need to show you fully understand what this element means and why its important)

In contrast to other theories of government, National Socialism (Nazism) is unique in it is sense of racial categorisation. Nazism held the unique ideology of an existence of an Aryan race that was understood to be superior to all other races. Consequently, Nazism accentuated the existence of a racial conflict between the Aryan race and others. Context from Nazi Germany indicates that this ideology was concentrated on those who identified as Jewish. Nazism in particular viewed the Jewish population as a mixed race that had infiltrated multiple societies, and was subsequently responsible for the exploitation and repression of the Aryan race. As such, this played a pivotal role in the political agenda and policy roll-out of Nazi Germany.

Social Nationalism supported the concept that in order to preserve its citizens perceived racial purity, a number of policies and laws needed to be invoked. These polices and laws were introduced into Nazism in 1935 and were consequently labelled the Nuremburg Laws. In context to Nazi Germany, the implementation of these laws at first, only pertained to preventing the sexual relations and marriages between Germans and Jews. However, this was later extended to Gypsies and other Ethnic groups. In Nazi Germany these minorities became labelled as “alien blood” (REFERENCE). Accordingly, relationships between Aryan and non-Aryans were now punishable under racial laws as ‘race defilement’ (REFERENCE). After some time, the race defilement laws were extended to encapsulate all foreigners (non-Germans) (REFERENCE) as such, a racial scale formed of non-Aryans. In Germany, to maintain ‘purity’ of the Aryan race, the Nazis eventually sought to exterminate Jews, Romani and even the physically and mentally disabled. In contrast to this, other minorities that were deemed “Degenerate” were not targeted for extermination, but were excluded from society. These other groups included homosexuals and political opponents.

In Germany, this concept of racial superiority derived from the ideologies of National Socialism, eventually resulted in efforts to ‘purify’ the German people through the science of improving a population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics, put simply ‘eugenics’. This eventuated into the compulsory sterilization or involuntary euthanasia of physically or mentally disabled people.

It can be argued that the element of racialism is important in the theory of National Socialism because racial purity is a defining feature and driving force through most of its ideologies and policies. Racialism sets Nazism apart from similar theories such a Fascism as Nazism holds to the idea of a superior race, where as the latter does not. Racialism was a justification for the implementation of most policies effecting many areas of society from health and education, to civil liberties and freedom. As highlighted, Nazi Germany implemented ‘racial hygiene’ policies as soon as they came to power. In 1933, they invoked laws that called for the compulsory sterilisation of people with a range of conditions such as epilepsy and schizophrenia. They also invoked the extermination of the Jewish population which led to the re-shaping of an entire society. Hitler, the leader of National Socialism declared that racial conflict was necessary to save the German people from suffering. Consequently, racialism is a key defining factor in National Socialism as the Government must actively promote the perfect race.

Element 2 (450-500 words): Sex and Gender

National Socialism advocated the ideology of excluding women from political involvement. As such, Nazism confined women to the domains of Children, Kitchen and Church (REFERENCE). Despite contemporary conceptions about sex and gender, historical context shows that women enthusiastically supported the regime (REFERENCE). The ideology of sex and gender was essentially singular in nature and women were expected to produce children. As part of National Socialism ideology, Pronatalism programs offered favourable loans and grants to encourage newlyweds with incentives to birth offspring (REFERENCE). In connection with racialism, the use of contraception under Nazism was discouraged for racially valuable women in Nazi Germany. As such, abortion was forbidden through strict legal policies and mandates. These included prison sentences for those seeking an abortion and doctors willing to perform them. In contrast to this, abortion was encouraged for those who were classified as racially undesirable (REFERENCE). As part of the ideology of sex and gender in Nazism, marriage was valued not for its moral aspects but, because it provided the optimal environment for breeding. Nazism invoked agendas such as the Lebensborn program, an organisation to increase the birth-rate of ‘Aryan’ children through extramarital relations between women classified a racially pure and their male equals.

As a result of the Nazis at the beginning of the war extending racial defilement laws to all foreigners (REFERENCE), pamphlets were issued to German women indicating to them to avoid sexual relations with foreigners brought to Germany and to view them as bad blood (REFERENCE). Despite laws being enacted for both genders, German women were targeted more for having sexual relations with foreign forced labourers (REFERENCE). Laws regarding the protection of German blood did not permit capital punishment for race defilement, as such special courts were set up to allow death penalty on a case basis. Real-world context highlights that women accused of such acts were marched through the streets with their head shaven and a placard around their neck detailing their crime (REFERENCE). Eventually, being sent to a concentration camp. It was part of Nazi ideals that women be publically humiliated for such crimes. In complete divergence to this, men were seen as the builders of society. As a result of, males were forced into the National Labour Service. This would occur at the age of eighteen and would last for about six-months. This was a Nazi concept of reducing the employment in the population. Nazi ideology apposed the concept of trade unions and a such replaced them with the Nazi Labour Front. Subsequently, Men worked building roads and reclaiming land. They also lived in camps and marched to work everyday. After this program, men were then drafted into the military service for two years as part of conscription.

This particular element is important to the ideals of Nazism as it indicative of how society was uniquely shaped through the division of sex and gender. Men were seen as standing up for the people through forced labour and military conscription, where as women were the producers of the nation, through birthing children and looking after the home. This particular element also saw the introduction of programs and mandates that saw the implementation of capital punishment for having sexual relations with a foreigner. It also saw the introduction of organisations that allowed ‘racially valuable’ men to have extramarital sex. Sex and gender highlights the masculinity of National Socialism, as women were forbidden from politics, men were the decisions makers.

Element 3 (450-500 words): Regulation of The Economy

Nazism did not follow traditional economic incentives, rather the German Nazis offered incentives of a political nature more inline with their ideologies. These incentives included the elimination of organised labour groups, rearmament and biological politics (REFEENCE). At the establishment of Social Nationalism in Germany, various work programs designed to establish full-time employment for the German population were instituted. Nazism supported the concept of nationally supported projects. Examples of which include the Autobahn, the introduction of an affordable car and the bolstering of businesses and employment through military rearmament (REFERENCE). In context to Nazi Germany, this saw the rate of employment decrease by forty percent in one year, thus encouraged Germans to support the ideologies and concepts laid down by National Socialism.

In its efforts to protect its ‘racially valuable’ population, the German People in this case and its currency from volatile market forces. Nazism promoted the implementation of social policies such as a National Labour Service, state-provided national health service, guaranteed pensions and an Agrarian settlement program (ASP). The ASP was a particular important policy to Nazism as it did not just correspond to the economy, but to their geopolitical conception of an aggressive expansion of Germany. Nazism also believed that the acquisition of agricultural land and soil was requisite in moulding the German Economy. Social Nationalism was also supported of private ownership. Indicating that it useful in encouraging creative competition and technical innovation. It was however, insisted that it has to conform to the ideologies of Nazism. As a result of this, private property rights were conditional upon economic mode of use. If it did not advance the Nazi economic goals then the state could acquisition it (REFERENCE). Under Nazi economics, free competition and self-regulating markets diminished. Although the privatisation of public properties and public services was supported they also increased economic state control. Social Welfare policies were also supported with the implementation of the National Socialists People’s Welfare organisation (REFERENCE). This particular organisation oversaw charitable activities and essentially became the largest civic organisation in Nazi Germany (REFERENCE)

Regulation of the economy is also an extremely important element of Nazism. Under National Socialism, it was believed that the economy was not just about the generation of wealth and technical progress, but the improved quality of life for its citizens. As such economic success was also paramount in that it provided the means and material foundations necessary for military conquest.