Why do liberals think the Nazis were conservative?

When, in January 1933, Hitler became chancellor, the Nazis quickly began work-creation and infrastructure programmes. They exhorted business to take on workers, and doled out credit. Germany’s economy rebounded and unemployment figures improved dramatically: German unemployment fell from almost 6 million in early... show more When, in January 1933, Hitler became chancellor, the Nazis quickly began work-creation and infrastructure programmes. They exhorted business to take on workers, and doled out credit. Germany’s economy rebounded and unemployment figures improved dramatically: German unemployment fell from almost 6 million in early 1933 to 2.4 million by the end of 1934; by 1938, Germany essentially enjoyed full employment. By the end of the 1930s, the government was controlling decisions about economic production, investment, wages and prices. Public spending was growing spectacularly.

Nazi Germany undertook state intervention in the economy unprecedented in capitalist societies. The Nazis also supported an extensive welfare state (of course, for ‘ethnically pure’ Germans). It included free higher education, family and child support, pensions, health insurance and an array of publically supported entertainment and vacation options. All spheres of life, economy included, had to be subordinated to the ‘national interest’ (Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz), and the fascist commitment to foster social equality and mobility.
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