Nazi ideology or Nazism was the ideology developed by Adolf Hitler and other prominent Nazis in Germany. There were many existing ideologies that influenced Nazism such as Fascism and Nationalism, however Nazism was a unique ideology in many ways. It combined many ideas, values and morals that were key to Hitler’s vision of Germany, such as Lebensraum, the Fuhrer and Autarky.
These core elements of the Nazi regime show Authoritarianism, Nationalism, Militarism and Expansionism (Llewellyn, 2014). The idea of having the Fuhrer, which was the title given to Hitler, showed the idea of an all powerful leader and strong government. This was key to Nazism and the Fuhrer was given all political power. Democracy was also eliminated from Nazi Germany, with all other political parties being disbanded. The Nazis had all the authority in Germany with the creation of specialised police groups such as the Gestapo, who also had a lot of power.
Lebensraum and Autarky showed the intense Nationalism and Expansionism of the Nazi party. Combined, the policies show the Nazi beliefs that all Germans should have living space by expanding into non German countries and that Germany should be completely self sufficient. These policies also highlight the extreme Racism which was a key element in Nazism. The idea that Aryans were the master race and minorities were subhuman and were sent to concentration camps. Nazism however was most known for its Totalitarianism which allowed the Nazis to control all aspects of German society.
The ideology of the Norsefire Party is similar to Nazism in many ways with similar ideas and values being present in both parties. The leader of the Norsefire Party, Adam Susan, is referred to as Leader, similar to Hitler’s use of Fuhrer. The Norsefire Party’s main policies were complete control of the media, extensive personal surveillance and elimination of minorities.
Traditional values, Authoritarianism and Nationalism are a huge part of the Norsefire Parties ideology and are shown in these policies. The Norsefire party run several departments; the Finger which is the secret police, the Nose which is the regular police force, the Eye which is the surveillance department, the Mouth which is in charge of propaganda and the Head which is the Leaders headquarters and controls the whole ‘body’. The Norsefire party used each department to achieve total control of the British people. Traditional values are also very important to the Norsefire party. Concentration camps were established and anyone who wasn’t white, hetrosexual and Christian was prosecuted. This showed the desire for a ‘traditional’ England, and also made it easier to control the population. Like the Nazi party, Norsefire displayed extreme Totalitarianism, which gave them a lot of power over the British people.
There were a lot of pressures in Germany at the time of the rise of the Nazi party that contributed to their success. It is likely that they also influenced Nazism and the reason behind Hitler’s vision of Germany. In V for Vendetta the pressures were similar to that of Germany at the time, and the pressures also contributed to the ideology. After WW1 Germany was in disarray. The Weimar republic had just written a constitution and had a vision to make Germany a democratic republic. In fact it was the most democratic political system of its time. However the system wasn’t suitable for the problems it had to deal with. From the Treaty of Versailles to the struggle between Spartacists (local communists) and Freikorps (nationalist ex soldiers), there were endless challenges for the government (Llewellyn, 2014). With the new political system in place the government found it hard to respond quickly to the nations problems.
Further more the Reichstag became filled with small political parties and instead of the decisive leadership that the public craved Germany had fifteen different chancellor’s, all with different political views. Money was also a huge problem in Germany at the time with the Great Depression of 1929. These political and social problems gave the Nazi party all the power they needed to take over the vulnerable Germany. With their promises of a united and strong Germany, the Nazis were exactly what the German people thought they needed. In V for Vendetta, the world is in chaos. A worldwide nuclear war narrowly avoided Britain, however it had huge impacts on the environment and Britain’s relationships with other countries. British land became infertile and as a result the economy plummeted.
This resulted in severe riots and the government collapsed leaving the nation in mass chaos. These problems with Britain and the world gave the Norsefire party a perfect opportunity to rise up and take control of Britain. Their ultra right wing policies seemed inviting to people who were sick of chaos and economic instability. In a way the pressures surrounding these parties let them strengthen their ideologies and make their policies more forceful. This was because the public supported them and wanted more stability in their lives. Of course many people did not know the extent of the parties ideologies, which gave the parties another advantage over the public. By having the peoples vote but not their awareness, the Norsefire and Nazi party had the freedom to take control and cement their power.
“We’ve had a string of embezzlers, frauds, liars and lunatics making a string of catastrophic decisions. This is plain fact. But who elected them? It was you! You who appointed these people! You who gave them the power to make your decisions for you…. You have encouraged these malicious incompetents, who have made your working life a shambles. You have without question accepted their senseless orders…. You could have stopped them. All you had to say was no.” (Moore, 2005 pg116-117)
I believe that this quote is highly relevant to the rise of the Nazi party because at no point was there any nation wide opposition to the Nazis and their regime, even after massacres and other cases of violence towards members of the public. If there had of been nationwide opposition to the Nazis once the public had evidence of the true intentions of the Nazi Party, the world would be a completely different place. Once the Nazis were elected into government they started committing acts of extreme violence and murder. One of the notable massacres was Kristallnacht which took place on November 9 and 10 in 1938. Organised by the Nazis, over 91 Jewish people were murdered and 30,000 were incarcerated (United States Holocaust Memorial Council, 2013).
German authorities watched on doing nothing while countless Jewish shops, houses and synagogues were destroyed by Nazis and members of the public. Most members of the German public expressed disapproval against the severity of Kristallnacht however no protests or further action took place. Even after the nation was given a reason to express their unhappiness no movements were made. It was almost as if it was ignored. This outbreak of hate fueled violence by the government showed their true nature and foreshadowed exactly how far they would go. This quote from V for Vendetta explores the idea that the power government has can be taken away by just saying no.
Also that people must think for themselves and not let a government make bad or unfair decisions on their behalf. There have been countless cases of nations overthrowing bad governments throughout history such as the French Revolution, that show how possible it is. If the German people had united as one against the appalling violence and discrimination, I believe that they could have overthrown the Nazi government, as signalled in the quote. By saying that a people have the power to remove a bad government, this quote also makes those people responsible for not acting. So that the blame for a bad government must ultimately sit with the people who did nothing to stop the wrongs committed in their name.