Nazism was inspired by Italian Fascism, an invention of hardline Communist Benito Mussolini. During World War I, Mussolini recognized that conventional socialism wasn’t working. He saw that nationalism exerted a stronger pull on the working class than proletarian brotherhood. He also saw that the ferocious opposition of large corporations made socialist revolution difficult. So in 1919, Mussolini came up with an alternative strategy. He called it Fascism. Mussolini described his new movement as a “Third Way” between capitalism and communism. As under communism, the state would exercise dictatorial control over the economy. But as under capitalism, the corporations would be left in private hands.
Hitler followed the same game plan. He openly acknowledged that the Nazi party was “socialist” and that its enemies were the “bourgeoisie” and the “plutocrats” (the rich). Like Lenin and Stalin, Hitler eliminated trade unions, and replaced them with his own state-run labor organizations. Like Lenin and Stalin, Hitler hunted down and exterminated rival leftist factions (such as the Communists). Like Lenin and Stalin, Hitler waged unrelenting war against small business