It is frequently claimed that the interventionist economic policies which the Nazi government began to pursue as soon as it had come to power were ideologically motivated (cf. Barkai, 1990). There is undeniably some truth in this hypothesis – after all, an important strand in German political and economic thought, which goes back to the age of absolutism and which flourished in the post-World War I period, favored state power and state control of society (Mises, 1944b). Still, Nazi interventionism may have had stronger foundations than just ideology. It is the hypothesis of this article that it was rather grounded in the structure of the state erected by the Hitler regime. Far from being the monolithic power bloc proclaimed by its propagandists, the Third Reich was in fact composed of a plethora of political authorities, government offices, and bureaucratic departments supplemented by an increasing number of “Reich-Plenipotentiaries”, “Special Representatives”, and other satraps of Hitler who were appointed to solve specific problems and were never recalled. It is claimed here that it was the power struggles waged by these individuals and bureaucratic agencies which boosted the increasingly interventionist policies of the Nazi regime.
Volckart, O. (2004), "Interventionism and the Structure of the Nazi State, 1933–1939", Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. (Ed.) The Dynamics of Intervention: Regulation and Redistribution in the Mixed Economy (Advances in Austrian Economics, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 399-418. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1529-2134(05)08016-6Download as .RIS
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