Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier has been making unwatchable extreme-left films for decades so people were naturally taken aback when he expressed some Nazi sympathies in a rambling Q&A session at the Cannes Film Festival this year. They think: how can somebody this left-wing be for something so right-wing.
Answer: easy, because Adolph Hitler consciously designed National Socialism as a Hegelian synthesis of the right and the left. From the right he took nationalism, militarism and anti-Semitism. From the left, he took socialism, totalitarianism, class warfare, the concentration camp (invented by Trotsky) and the deliberate mass murder of entire categories of people (also placed in the 20th century politician’s toolbox by Trotsky). As a result, the left is much closer ideologically to the Nazis than they let on. So for a left-wing extremist like von Trier to be sympathetic to Nazism is not that much of a stretch.
The left likes to emphasize National Socialism’s right wing elements, but the left-wing elements not so much because they are its dirty little secret. There is a reason why we call Nazis, Nazis rather than National Socialists, as Hitler himself referred to his movement. In his meandering soliloquy, von Trier inadvertently let the cat out of the bag.
We should draw attention to this secret whenever we can by always referring to Nazis as National Socialists. By doing so we make the left-wing elements of Nazism explicit, thereby making it harder for the left to tar us with the Nazi brush. Or better yet, if time permits, we should call Nazism by its full name: the National Socialist German Worker’s Party, which makes them sound more like a Teutonic version of the NDP than anything legitimately conservative.