Skip to comments.What is Fascism?
Posted on 01/30/2003 7:00:27 PM PST by John Lenin
click here to read article
As an aside, one day a few years ago I asked a friend of mine who is from China what holidays they celebrated. His answer was..."all the UN holidays". That really reveals something, doesn't it?
Hitler in fact refused a lot of foreign volunteers, including the entire Russian and Ukranian population( which he stupidly abused to the point they turned on the Germans).
Agreed. What is often overlooked is that the Russians and Ukranians looked upon the Germans as liberators. The Wehrmacht left them alone. It was Himmlers boys that came in afterwards and abused the native population to the point that Stalin was able to coax them to fight for their motherland. This is an often overooked turning point in the war as the Germans divert troops to watch their supply lines.
Franco did send a division of volunteers to the Eastern Front).
Yup. the famed Blue Division. Hard core fanatical anti-communists. When the Bulgarians, Romanians, and Italians fled in droves the Blue Division dug in and killed commies by the busload.
Pinochet was an unblemished hero.
Absolutely. While South America plunges into the abyss Chile kicks ass. In fact they make us look like socialists.
dude, 'marron' is misspelled...put the pipe down and try again...
Have you ever experienced an orgasm with a man inside?
With a man inside what? The house? :) Notice that only 55 people have responded to the poll. I'd say you need at least 150 - 200 votes to acquire an adequate represenation.
4 posted on 01/22/2003 5:01 PM PST by jdege
by Matthew N. Lyons
I am skeptical of efforts to produce a "definition" of fascism. As a dynamic historical current, fascism has taken many different forms, and has evolved dramatically in some ways. To understand what fascism has encompassed as a movement and a system of rule, we have to look at its historical context and development--as a form of counter-revolutionary politics that first arose in early twentieth-century Europe in response to rapid social upheaval, the devastation of World War I, and the Bolshevik Revolution. The following paragraphs are intented as an initial, open-ended sketch.
Fascism is a form of extreme right-wing ideology that celebrates the nation or the race as an organic community transcending all other loyalties. It emphasizes a myth of national or racial rebirth after a period of decline or destruction. To this end, fascism calls for a "spiritual revolution" against signs of moral decay such as individualism and materialism, and seeks to purge "alien" forces and groups that threaten the organic community. Fascism tends to celebrate masculinity, youth, mystical unity, and the regenerative power of violence. Often, but not always, it promotes racial superiority doctrines, ethnic persecution, imperialist expansion, and genocide. At the same time, fascists may embrace a form of internationalism based on either racial or ideological solidarity across national boundaries. Usually fascism espouses open male supremacy, though sometimes it may also promote female solidarity and new opportunities for women of the privileged nation or race.
Fascism's approach to politics is both populist--in that it seeks to activate "the people" as a whole against perceived oppressors or enemies--and elitist--in that it treats the people's will as embodied in a select group, or often one supreme leader, from whom authority proceeds downward. Fascism seeks to organize a cadre-led mass movement in a drive to seize state power. It seeks to forcibly subordinate all spheres of society to its ideological vision of organic community, usually through a totalitarian state. Both as a movement and a regime, fascism uses mass organizations as a system of integration and control, and uses organized violence to suppress opposition, although the scale of violence varies widely.
Fascism is hostile to Marxism, liberalism, and conservatism, yet it borrows concepts and practices from all three. Fascism rejects the principles of class struggle and workers' internationalism as threats to national or racial unity, yet it often exploits real grievances against capitalists and landowners through ethnic scapegoating or radical-sounding conspiracy theories. Fascism rejects the liberal doctrines of individual autonomy and rights, political pluralism, and representative government, yet it advocates broad popular participation in politics and may use parliamentary channels in its drive to power. Its vision of a "new order" clashes with the conservative attachment to tradition-based institutions and hierarchies, yet fascism often romanticizes the past as inspiration for national rebirth.
Fascism has a complex relationship with established elites and the non-fascist right. It is never a mere puppet of the ruling class, but an autonomous movement with its own social base. In practice, fascism defends capitalism against instability and the left, but also pursues an agenda that sometimes clashes with capitalist interests in significant ways. There has been much cooperation, competition, and interaction between fascism and other sections of the right, producing various hybrid movements and regimes.
Matthew N. Lyons is an independent scholar and freelance writer who studies reactionary and supremacist movements. His articles have appeared in the Progressive and other periodicals. These paragraphs are adapted from working papers for Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort by Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons, New York: Guilford Publications, 2000.
© 1995, Matthew N. Lyons.
Fascism=Corporate State. In the classic Fascist State, Italy of the 1920's-1940's, the State owned a significant part of the major industries, (Steel, Fuel, Electricity, Manufacturing). However, majority ownership of many industrial sectors, including very large ones, remained in private hands and competed with these state-owned enterprises. Agriculture remained in private hands.
A Fascist State may even be more or less democratic: Throughout its Fascist Decades, Italy had a King and elected parliament. It was, make no mistake about it, a very repressive one-party government and maintained by force, but for an individual citizen probably not much worse than 1930's Mexico under the PRI, and certainly a lot better than Cuba under Castro (who is great admirer of Fascism and Mussolini) Most of the Fascist states had (and have) no racial qualification. The left is all together too fast to name Nazi Germany as a Fascist state. Technically, Germany was not a Fascist country in that the means of production overwhelming stayed in private hands throughout the NAZI regime. It also irks the Left to no end that many of the policies they espouse are identical to those put in place by Nazi Germany!
Fascist Italy (A Monarchical Republic, with one-party rule and a Dictator), Argentina, (A republic with a Military Regime in charge and the appearance at least, of representative government)) Ataturk's (Same) Turkey, Portugal under Salazar, Spain under Franco. In general, these states sharply curtailed rights, but did not interfere with religion, or make race a qualification for full citizenship.
In fact, for a while during the 20's, 30's, and 40's, Fascism was regarded by many economists, including Americans, as the most efficient form of governance for a poor country, and the fastest way to encourage economic development. The price was the loss of basic liberties. This is not to defend Italian, or any other kind of Fascism. None of these countries were benevolent places for dissenting citizens. In any of them, you could get yourself shot without too much trouble.
But what we have in this post is the classic Marxist interpretation of Fascism, and therefore the classic interpretation offered by the American Left. Before you buy it, stop to consider that no (that was NO) Fascist Country was ever as unrelentingly cruel and harsh to its citizens as the Soviet Union was to theirs. Nazi Germany was not a Fascist Country, per se, but even it killed fewer of its citizens, by a factor of several hundred, than did the Soviet Union in its 80-year reign of terror.
In their new book, Right-Wing Populism in America; too close for comfort, authors Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons continue the old malevolent hate campaign, launched around the turn of the last century, against conservatives, libertarians, religious Christians, and anyone else who doesn 't genuflect to the authoritarian left-wing. This book, a smear against the non-left, follows in the tradition of V.I.Lennin and his "Letter to the American Worker and Franz Fanon, author of "The Wretched of the Earth.In short, Berlet and Lyons, both Marxist, are full of balderdash. Hitler was to the right of the Stalinist, but still far to the left of the Weimar Republic. The Marxist hates Fascism because it is a step away from total Communism, and a step towards Feudalism(in the form of Nationalism) and Capitalism.
The tactic employed, then, and now, by Berlet and Lyons, is to lump anyone who is non-left in with the KKK, Aryan Nations, Neonazis, and other fringe groups. The propaganda is that those who oppose the left are to be viewed as racist and anti-Semitic. The smear has expanded, in recent decades, to include such accusations as sexist, homophobic, and other such labels. These lies are drummed into the subconscious of the average citizen with an incessant drumbeat of media support.
Lenin, in 1919, identified the Achilles heal of the US. He would order his minions to exploit this weakness as a means of creating revolution, an overthrough of capitalism, and victory toward a Soviet world. That weakness was racism. The left would begin to agitate for race conflict and war as a means of collapsing the American edifice. They first advocated black separatism and the creation of a "Negro Soviet Republic" carved out of what was called the "black belt", an area in the South heavily populated by African-Americans. This never caught on amongst the overwhelmingly patriotic and conservative African-American population. Later, the communists would shift gears and champion race riots as they instigated the burning of American cities in the 1960's.
Left-wing intellectual Franz Fanon, in the early twentieth century, influenced the left to incorporate, in addition to the classic Marxist idea of creating class conflict and war, the idea of race war. Fanon saw the exploitation of race consciousness and racial differences as fertile ground for violence. He invented dialectic of race that has been employed in this country with a degree of success. Fanon understood that conflict and war was necessary to trigger the birth pangs that would bring about Socialism. Creating and exploiting collective hatred was the key. The color red, the symbol of Socialism, stands for the human blood that would be shed to affect their goal.
Berlet and Lyons go to great lengths to link non-leftists to racism etc. While they carp about "conspiracism", and preposterously lump those who speculate about political conspiracy under the heading "right-wing", they themselves are actually guilty of weaving one of the oldest and ugliest conspiracy theories. Their theory is that the non-left is secretly racist, anti-Semitic etc., and that they conspire to oppress African-Americans, Jews, Gays, etc. They see a racist under every bed.
In this country, the consequence of the hate filled propaganda of Berlet, Lyons, and the long and infamous list of the like-minded, has been the development of a prejudice, bigotry, provincialism, and sheer ignorance that typifies the average "liberal" today. As a resident of a "liberal suburb" of Boston, I can speak to this personally.
In my community, by virtue of the fact that I host a local cable TV show, a syndicated radio talk show, and am an author, I am a high profile conservative. The response has often been hateful glares form liberals in the neighborhood and, sadly, in my synagogue. My wife is concerned over whether or not some of this hatred and intolerance will affect our young daughter who is starting pre-school at the synagogue this fall. She has wondered if we might be better off if I hid my views. I refuse, however, to be a "marrano" like the Jews who kept their faith secret during the Spanish Inquisition. In the few conversations I have been able to strike up with those who are demonstrating this hatefulness toward me, I have been spoken to as if I were a racist or something in that realm.
People who don't know me assume that I must be evil because I'm non-left. Generally, those who dare to be different evoke a certain degree of fear and loathing in those who have a great deal invested in fitting in and conforming. But the hostility I'm seeing transcends this normal tendency toward intolerance. There is an ignorance of the nature of conservatism. They have been conditioned to accept the left-wing big lie.
That's this screed in a nutshell.
"fascism \fa-shi-zem also fa-si-\ noun [It fascismo, fr. fascio bundle, fasces, group, fr. L fascis bundle & fasces fasces] (1921)
1 often cap : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition"
2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control
fascist \-shist also -sist\ noun or adjective often cap
fascistic \fa-shis-tik also -sis-\ adjective often cap
fascistically \-ti-k(e-)le\ adverb often cap
(C) 1996 Zane Publishing, Inc. and Merriam-Webster, Incorporated"
I'll add that fascism is always socialistic and Freedom is not tolerated.
Unfortunately Chuck does not address the particulars of this definition (at least not in the review you posted) but instead tries to say what fascism is not. His motivation here seems to be that he feels as though he is being smeared by association.
That's fine, but it doesn't contribute much an understanding of the idea, since I really don't care if Chuck Morse is a fascist or not.
Yup,they clearly understand the UN is a tool to be used.
This (communist) author does not know anything at all about fascism.
Conspiring elites gain effective control over a nation's leading components of the four factors of production: land, labor, management, and capital. The remainder fall in line in the face of government extortion.
When did we last do anything for our government that was not "under penalty of law", under a "living" Constitution? Our statutory and regulatory environment for individuals and private enterprise is as hostile as it is incomprehensible. We only thought we knew what the meaning of "is" is.
American fascism is thriving. Waco's Mt. Carmel JBT assault on men, women, and children in their home, Hillary Care, threats against women controlling the Bimbo Erruption, the sham Impeachment Trial of XXX42, and the W-88/Loral for the PLA are all we need to remember about how the Politburo operates. American fascism is thriving.
Revisionist history. Marxism and Fascism both condemn capitalism. They are philosphical fraternal twins.
Nazism was inspired by Italian Fascism, an invention of hardline Communist Benito Mussolini. During World War I, Mussolini recognized that conventional socialism wasn't working. He saw that nationalism exerted a stronger pull on the working class than proletarian brotherhood. He also saw that the ferocious opposition of large corporations made socialist revolution difficult. So in 1919, Mussolini came up with an alternative strategy. He called it Fascism. Mussolini described his new movement as a ``Third Way'' between capitalism and communism. As under communism, the state would exercise dictatorial control over the economy. But as under capitalism, the corporations would be left in private hands.
Hitler followed the same game plan. He openly acknowledged that the Nazi party was ``socialist'' and that its enemies were the ``bourgeoisie'' and the ``plutocrats'' (the rich). Like Lenin and Stalin, Hitler eliminated trade unions, and replaced them with his own state-run labor organizations. Like Lenin and Stalin, Hitler hunted down and exterminated rival leftist factions (such as the Communists). Like Lenin and Stalin, Hitler waged unrelenting war against small business.
Hitler regarded capitalism as an evil scheme of the Jews and said so in speech after speech. Karl Marx believed likewise. In his essay, ``On the Jewish Question,'' Marx theorized that eliminating Judaism would strike a crippling blow to capitalist exploitation. Hitler put Marx's theory to work in the death camps.
The Nazis are widely known as nationalists, but that label is often used to obscure the fact that they were also socialists. Some question whether Hitler himself actually believed in socialism, but that is no more relevant than whether Stalin was a true believer. The fact is that neither could have come to power without at least posing as a socialist.
A Little Secret About Nazis
Socialist Origins of Neo-Nazi-ism
You Mean Hitler Wasn't a Priest?
All Socialism is National
Joseph Goebbels own words: "Those Damn Nazis", long German propaganda piece defining intent and meaning of the Nazi's....National, Socialists....left-wing, "third way."
There was and is nothing "holy" about Fascism, Naziism, Communism or the other socialist systems. They all conflict with Biblical teachings. Every system that claims to care about the workers while condemning employers is historically false and un-Biblical.
Which brings to mind Big Tobacco and Government.
The most notable characteristic of a fascist country is the separation and persecution or denial of equality to a specific segment of the population based upon superficial qualities or belief systems.
Simply stated, a fascist government always has one class of citizens that is considered superior (good) to another (bad) based upon race, creed or origin. It is possible to be both a republic and a fascist state. The preferred class lives in a republic while the oppressed class lives in a fascist state. Until the Civil Rights act of 1964, many parts of the US were Republic for whites and Fascist for non-Caucasian residents. Fascism promotes legal segregation in housing, national resource allocation and employment.
How many articles have we all posted epressing exactly that being done to smokers?????
It provides legal justification for persecuting a specific segment of the population and operates behind a two tiered legal system. One segment of society is always considered less desirable, sub-human or second class.
Some of the nicer categories of sub-humans we've been placed in lately include child-abusers, murderers, and pedophiles - and those are just the terms I'm permitted to print here.
I calls 'em as I sees 'em - but admit to needing glasses. (^;
Richard Poe, editor of Frontpage Magazine, sets the record straight:
Nazism was inspired by Italian Fascism, an invention of hardline Communist Benito Mussolini. During World War I, Mussolini recognized that conventional socialism wasn't working. He saw that nationalism exerted a stronger pull on the working class than proletarian brotherhood. He also saw that the ferocious opposition of large corporations made socialist revolution difficult. So in 1919, Mussolini came up with an alternative strategy. He called it Fascism. Mussolini described his new movement as a "Third Way" between capitalism and communism. As under communism, the state would exercise dictatorial control over the economy. But as under capitalism, the corporations would be left in private hands.
http://russp.org/nazis.html (A little secret about Nazis)
You will notice that my comments were directed towards "the author". Apparently it is not you who I was calling "Marxist", but the author. I hope that clears it up.
Now the only thing I wonder is, Just how long ago was this LoC definition of "fascism" written?
Seriously now, "extreme measure taken by the bourgeoisie to forestall the proletarian revolution"? I'm guessing 1940, give or take ;-)
I tend to trust what the Israeli's themselves say in publications like Ha'aratz
It's "the Israeli's" who write Ha'aratz? All of them? All Israelis get together and write Ha'aratz in a collaborative effort? Or, all Israelis agree with everything said by Ha'aretz? Ha'aretz speaks for "the Israelis", does it?
Did you mean to say, "I tend to trust what the writers of Ha'aratz say", by any chance? "The Israelis". Right.
Last summer, Ha'aratz mentioned that Israel was in fact succumbing to fascism, that the persecuted were becoming the persecutors.
"Mentioned" this, you say? They "mentioned" this, did they? Perhaps you forgot to append the essential words "in an op-ed piece".
The statement is accurate when you take into account what is happening in the Occupied Territories.
Ok, I get it, please stop piling it on. You earnestly sought a definition of "fascism" which would cover whatever it is Israel is doing in the "Occupied Territories". And you found one, the LoC definition laden with Marxist baggage. Kudos to you, and kudos again.
While you were researching stuff in the Library of Congress, perhaps you also should've pulled out the old George Orwell essay (I think it was), also presumably from the 1940's, in which he complains that the word "fascism" has lost all meaning and has come to mean, "something the speaker disagrees with". But I digress.
Again, what is reported in the United States isn't what the rest of the world hears and sees.
True. "The rest of the world", more often than not, doesn't have a free press, for one thing. Also, most of what they "know" about America is what they have learned from watching American movies, not by watching or reading news.
This is one of many reasons why the rest of the world isn't behind us on our current pet project.
You seem to be mistaken. Britain, Australia, Kuwait, Qatar. Italy, Spain, Poland, Eastern European countries. Saudi Arabia and Turkey, nominally. What is this crap about the "rest of the world" not being behind us? Did you mean to say "France and Germany and Iraq" are not behind us?
Anyway, there is a kernel of truth to what you say; where anti-Americanism and huge opposition to this war is found, it's often because the people are ill informed. (For example, there seems to be a huge amount of people who think that the United States can't fight a war without UN approval, or that the opinion of citizens in Germany or France is relevant to what orders the U.S. Commander-in-Chief gives to U.S. troops, for some reason, as if French and German people are, somehow, magically, secretly, kinda-sorta "American voters" in some weird vague abstract way. All of this, of course, is simply incorrect. I blame their media for not explaining the issue correctly.)
My objective with the article was to get people talking, debating and questioning realities and what we are told.
In other words, to pave the way for people to call Israel "fascist" (this is that "questioning realities" thing, I assume). Yeah, I got that part.
It appears you all are. Thank you.
You're welcome. And thank you, for explaining your motives in posting such a definition to the web. You indeed cleared things up for me.
It really doesn't matter if you agree with the definition or not.
Of course not, given that you're uninterested in truth, and more focused on political goals (like calling Israel "fascist") and other ways of "questioning realit[y]". (Emphasis mine.)