There's a big difference
In the ideological discourse of our time, no term is more emotionally charged than the epithet "Nazi." Is it an accurate descriptive label for the National Socialist philosophy and those who embrace it, or does it carry connotations that suggest something else—something quite different, in fact? In the following editorial, which appeared in the November 1980 issue of White Power, NEW ORDER Commander Matt Koehl discusses this question, as he sets the record straight
IS A "NAZI" the same as a National Socialist?
The news media, our opponents and an uninformed public would all say so. But are they correct?
This is more than a mere academic question. On the proper answer hinge certain significant implications for us as National Socialists.
It is true, of course, that in its early phase our Movement was referred to as the "American Nazi Party." This designation was consciously and deliberately exploited for its publicity value.
Some have questioned the feasibility of this approach, arguing that it would have been better if the term National Socialist had been employed exclusively and consistently from the very beginning. Whether or not this argument is correct is rather moot at this point. Whatever utility the name "Nazi" may or may not have had in the past, the important point is that for our present and future work as National Socialists it is useless.
A device coined by the enemy
It is a fact that the label "Nazi" was originally used by a hostile press during the Weimar period [in Germany] as a term of contempt and derision against Adolf Hitler and his Movement. Nowhere did the Leader himself use this designation, either in his speeches or in Mein Kampf.
Not only is the expression a distortion of our true name, but it connotes a certain lack of substance and seriousness, which in turn makes it difficult for anyone to take our message seriously. Indeed, if the public is to gain a credible perception of us, then we must present ourselves honestly and forthrightly as exactly what we are—National Socialists—and not as some sort of political caricature. Otherwise we can expect to have as much credibility as dedicated Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries would if they were to go around referring to themselves as "Commies."
There is perhaps a more important reason, however, why we National Socialists must reject the term "Nazi." If this label was originally used to belittle the National Socialist cause, subsequent wartime propaganda introduced sinister new connotations. Conjured up was the monstrous image of hate and evil, an image which every decent person must find repulsive.
Good people repulsed
But if the "Nazi" image has repelled good people, too often it has had another unfortunate effect: it has attracted the very ones who fit the "Nazi" stereotype—the unstable, the unsavory, the mentally sick and spiritually defective—marginal types who may make good Hollywood props, but who have absolutely no place in a true National Socialist movement.
Therefore, we can only conclude that at best, continued use of the term "Nazi" is self-defeating. At worst, it is nothing but an opportunistic gimmick by misfits and mini-fuehrers craving lots of personal attention—little boys who don't have the slightest idea what real National Socialism is all about.
We, of course, have no control over what our enemies may decide to call us. But what we choose to call ourselves is quite another matter.
The truth is that we don't need any nicknames. We are National Socialists, not "Nazis." There's a BIG difference!