Could Punching Nazis Have Prevented Hitler From Taking Power
Date Written: 08/09/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21211
There have been repeated references to how Nazism could have been stopped by street-fighting, with almost no attention paid to the concrete socio-political conditions of Germany between 1920 and 1933. For many of those who think that physical force was the key to stopping Nazism, the viral video of Richard Spencer getting punched in the face was far more important as a guide to action than understanding the tragic history of the German left.
For him, the key to understanding Hitler's triumph was disunity on the German left. In some ways, despite the entirely different set of circumstances we face in 2017, this remains our continuing problem. My hope is that this bit of history might have some provide some insights on the kind of movement that needs to be built today since punching Nazis in Charlottesville was not the solution.
In a way, the Weimar Republic was what the Russians would have ended up with if Alexander Kerensky had been able to work out a deal with the Czarist military and landowners. There might have been a period of social advance but it would have destroyed by counter-revolution as soon as the old guard had regained its momentum.