History of Fascism
Fascism is not "Nazism" or any "ism" other than itself;
Dedicated to free speech, freedom and the fight against 21st Century Fascism
Dedicated to promote free speech and tolerance, and fight anti-democratic ideologies and their fascist political expressions.
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Fascism is not "Nazism" or any "ism" other than itself;
Facile placement of Fascism on one side of the political spectrum is meaningless;
Marxism shares its basic world view with Fascism, so adherents of modern Marxism are Fascistic…
The Anti-Fascism League is a non-profit corporation dedicated to charitable purposes, namely, the advancement of education; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency. We are prohibited from advocating with respect to any candidate for political office, or any proposed legislation.
Our name was chosen with care. We are not “anti-fascist,” but anti Fascism. We refer to the words of George Orwell, from his 1944 article, “What is Fascism?”
It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.
Yet underneath all this mess there does lie a kind of buried meaning. To begin with, it is clear that there are very great differences, some of them easy to point out and not easy to explain away, between the régimes called Fascist and those called democratic. Secondly, if ‘Fascist’ means ‘in sympathy with Hitler’, some of the accusations I have listed above are obviously very much more justified than others. Thirdly, even the people who recklessly fling the word ‘Fascist’ in every direction attach at any rate an emotional significance to it. By ‘Fascism’ they mean, roughly speaking, something cruel, unscrupulous, arrogant, obscurantist, anti-liberal and anti-working-class. Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.
But Fascism is also a political and economic system. Why, then, cannot we have a clear and generally accepted definition of it? Alas! we shall not get one — not yet, anyway. To say why would take too long, but basically it is because it is impossible to define Fascism satisfactorily without making admissions which neither the Fascists themselves, nor the Conservatives, nor Socialists of any colour, are willing to make. All one can do for the moment is to use the word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword.
We do not apply the label of “Fascist” to any person based on their claimed position on the traditional political spectrum. In our considered view, whether a person is Fascist does not depend on which side of the parliamentary chamber he sits on. We apply the term “fascist” on a functional level. A person or group which operates based on Fascist principles is promoting Fascism, regardless of the label applied to themselves or by others.
There are common characteristics of Fascism.
There is much confusion about the word “corporative” as applied to Fascism. The term originated in Mussolini’s Italy. At the inaugural address at the National Council of Corporations in 1930, Mussolini explained that corporativism is the basis of Fascism. However, writers such as Michael C. Ruppert incorrectly interpret “corporativism” to be related to business corporations—completely false and demonstrating a lack of understanding of Italian. The word for “public body” in Italian is corpo; the word for “corporation” is societa. For, the National Council of Corporations was not a meeting of businesses, but rather a central planning agency composed of corporate groups representing different sectors of the economy such as labor unions, government employees, employers, social groups, and government ministries. Fascism in Italy was a system in which the means of production were privately owned, but controlled by the State. Representative democracy, it was believed, did not “incorporate” the interests of all people into the state.
Fascism is thus directly in opposition to classical liberal capitalism. It shares the mind set with its comrades Marxism and Progressivism (it is a little known fact that Nazism is based on American Progressivism)1 of dealing with society on the basis of collective groups, such as race, social or economic class, immigration status, gender and sexual orientation. Stereotyping and classifying individuals on the basis of these and similar characteristics is Fascism. To quote Jonah Goldberg in Liberal Fascism: the Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning:
The Nazis played the same games against Jews that today’s left plays against 'Eurocentrism,' 'whiteness,' and 'logocentrism.' When you hear a campus radical denounce 'white logic' or 'male logic,' she is standing on the shoulders of a Nazi who denounced 'Jewish logic' and the 'Hebrew disease'...The white man is the Jew of liberal fascism.
We tend to forget that unity is, at best, morally neutral and often a source of irrationality and groupthink. Rampaging mobs are unified. The Mafia is unified. Marauding barbarians bent on rape and pillage are unified. Meanwhile, civilized people have disagreements, and small-d democrats have arguments. Classical liberalism is based on this fundamental insight, which is why fascism was always antiliberal. Liberalism rejected the idea that unity is more valuable than individuality. For fascists and other leftists, meaning and authenticity are found in collective enterprises—of class, nation, or race—and the state is there to enforce that meaning on everyone without the hindrance of debate.
So, another characteristic of Fascism is the drowning out of dissent or opposing viewpoints by force.
Government control, or statism; the worldview that deals with individuals on the basis of their group affiliation; and intolerance toward the expression of opposing viewpoints are the defining elements of Fascism. Fascism is the opposite of classical liberalism propounded by the Founding Fathers.
1Woodrow Wilson, “Leaders of Men” 1889 essay: The true leader of men is equipped by lacking certain sensibilities which the literary man, when analyzed, is found to have as a chief part of his make up. He lacks that subtle power of sympathy that enables the men who write the great works of the imagination to put their minds under the spell of a thousand motives not their own but the living force in those whom they interpret
The competent leader of men cares little for the interior niceties of other people’s character. He cares much everything for the external uses to which they may be put. His will seeks the lines of least resistance; but the whole question with him is a question as to the application of force.
There are men to be moved: how shall he move them? He supplies the power; others supply only the materials upon which that power operates. The power will fail if it be misapplied; it will be misapplied if it be not suitable both in its character and in its method to the nature of the materials upon which it is spent; but that nature is, after all, only its means.
It is the power which dictates, dominates; the materials yield. Men are as clay in the hands of the consummate leader.
This information is provided from a poster on the web site Quora.
Because it is a historical fact that Fascism was conceived by Italian Socialists who were puzzled by the failure of Socialism to take root in Europe, and sought to modernize it, both theoretically (ditching Marxism for Sorelian Syndicalism) and organizationally, using the management, operational tools and mass media developed during WWI to mobilize the entire resources of the State.
Lets hear from the founders of Fascism - Giovanni Gentile:
It is necessary to distinguish between socialism and socialism—in fact, between idea and idea of the same socialist conception, in order to distinguish among them those that are inimical to Fascism. It is well known that Sorellian syndicalism, out of which the thought and the political method of Fascism emerged—conceived itself the genuine interpretation of Marxist communism. The dynamic conception of history, in which force as violence functions as an essential, is of unquestioned Marxist origin. Those notions flowed into other currents of contemporary thought, that have themselves, via alternative routes, arrived at a vindication of the form of State—implacable, but absolutely rational—that finds historic necessity in the very spiritual dynamism through which it realizes itself. Che cosa è il fascismo: Discorsi e polemiche (“What is Fascism?”), Florence: Vallecchi, (1925) pp. 42-45, 47-48, 49-51, 56,Origins and Doctrine of Fascism, A. James Gregor, translator and editor, Transaction Publishers, 2003, p. 59.
To-morrow, Fascists and communists, both persecuted by the police, may arrive at an agreement, sinking their differences until the time comes to share the spoils. I realise that though there are no political affinities between us, there are plenty of intellectual affinities. Like them, we believe in the necessity for a centralised and unitary state, imposing an iron discipline on everyone, but with the difference that they reach this conclusion through the idea of class, we through the idea of the nation.
As quoted in The Myth of the Nation and the Vision of Revolution, Jacob Talmon, University of California Press (1981) p. 494, Mussolini's declaration near the end of 1921: "The Fascist State directs and controls the entrepreneurs, whether it be in our fisheries or in our heavy industry in the Val d'Aosta. There the State actually owns the mines and carries on transport, for the railways are state property. So are many of the factories… We term it state intervention… If anything fails to work properly, the State intervenes. The capitalists will go on doing what they are told, down to the very end. They have no option and cannot put up any fight. Capital is not God; it is only a means to an end." As quoted in Talks with Mussolini, Emil Ludwig, Boston, MA, Little, Brown and Company (1933), pp. 153-154, Interview took place between March 23 and April 4, 1932.
The “Fascism is of the right” trope comes from the Soviet Union, where the Communist Party and the Comintern watched in horror as Fascism bloomed across Europe, Fascist political parties and leagues sprang up everywhere, and even Fabian Socialist H.G.Wells moved farther left and began advocating for a “Liberal Fascism”. Since Fascists were successfully attracting the very people Communists sought for their party, the Communist Propaganda machine began a series of tropes such as “Fascism is of the right” and using the terms Fascist and Capitalist interchangeably - propaganda techniques which actually survived the death of the USSR and are used today.
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