Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Socialst*, etc. (for Socialist, Socialism)

What political party gave socialists a bad name (not to mention Germans and workers)? The National Socialist German Workers' Party—or Nazi Party—was founded on February 24, 1920. It was a weird sort of "socialism," however, one that eschewed leftists and loathed Jews. In 25 years, its membership grew to 8.5 million: only slightly more than the number murdered in the Nazi concentration camps. The party's founder, Anton Drexler, wanted to call the fledgling group the "German-Socialist Workers Party," but a guy named Karl Harrer convinced them to drop the "Socialist." Adolf Hitler, an early adopter, suggested the "Social Revolutionary Party," but this rather excitable name was also rejected. The typo Socialst appears eight times in OhioLINK, along with Socalis* three times, and Socailis* twice. What's in a name? Not that much, it seems, but if you have to choose one, go with something snazzy. (Note: Naziism is a variant spelling of Nazism, but Nazzism would be a typo.)

(Adolf Hitler in the 1920s, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You commit the classic stereotype of mentioning only Hitler & German National Socialists, who came in a distant(?) third place in murders/atrocities in the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part): Stalin & and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics with ~60 million killed; Mao and the Peoples' Republic of China, ~50 million; Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers' Party, ~20 million).

Some people would say that the socialist typos AND YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THEM reveal more than you intended to reveal. It certainly seems that way to people who know the facts above. You have committed a classic stereotypical error that many people recognize even if you don't.

You might also wish to recall that Mao started out with guidance and support from Stalin, and that Stalin and Hitler invaded Poland together as allies in a pact to divide up Europe (and in an apparent contest to see who could kill the most people, which Stalin won hands down, err bodies down). Actually, Stalin, Lenin and Soviet Socialism also had a head-start on Hitler.

You should help update your readers about Hitler's place among people who gave socialism a bad name and also explain the "typo" socialist "Wholecaust."