I've seen a lot of people on social media trying to describe fascism. The interesting bit is that they NEVER consult the philosophy of fascism to describe it.
I thought I'd fix that:
Fascism is a form of democracy - a relatively authoritarian form, certainly. It can, in fact, be argued that all expressions of democracies are authoritarian to certain degrees. Fascism is nonetheless democratic in structure. Let me explain...
Fascism is a national syndicalist philosophy that views the elevation of and identification with the integral State as the primary moral good for the nation. It rejects forthwith egalitarianism, liberal democracy (characterized by a commitment to equality before the law, free speech, degrees of individualism, etc), internationalism and pacifism as well as Marxism and its variants.
Fascism agrees with the marxist interpretation of history but argues that class conflict can only be resolved by reinventing the national consciousness to unite the classes in a stratified syncretic organism - the State. Instead of international class collaboration the fascist argues for national class syncretism. A perpetual revolution organized through a vanguard party (paralleling the marxist-Leninist approach to social organization) and democratic centralism for the "elite" to be provided to the masses rather than participated in by the masses is the ONLY acceptable manner for redress of grievance.
The authoritarian form of democracy characterizing Fascism is an explictly corporatist (not corporate) approach by the elite interests of a given society to preempt and proscribe class-based collectivist ideologies within the nation by promoting integralism and an organic interpretation of, and service to, the State (this is, in point of fact, how fascism undermines the cultural marxism inherent in the grievance studies that proliferate Western Academics). In other words, what political sovereignty an individual enjoys within a fascist order MUST be utilized to celebrate the nation and the State - and to celebrate the reigning government administering the State to provide for the nation.
Fascists advocate an autarkic economic order and seek to criminalize any economic activity that posits individual or group interests above the interests of the State. Whatever market the fascist order tolerates is completely subordinated to the State. All activity - economic or individual - MUST be subordinated to the needs of the State.
A Fascist regime is typically personified by an autocratic ruler considered to be the most strong-willed, anti-hedonistic, and warrior-like of his competitors among the vanguard. Athough monarchs can be, and have been, preferred due to the syncretic integralism that Fascists use to hold the nation together, a hereditary "father or mother" of the nation is not necessary. Thus the leader of a fascist nation is expected to be the most capable member of society - the pinnacle of a truly meritocratic and technocratic order.
The whole premise of Fascist thought is to counter Marxist-Leninism. Where Marx laid bare the dialectical as an arbitrary codified doctrine of thought for the good communist revolutionary to conform to, Giovanni Gentile (the ideological father of Fascism), sought to establish Fascism as an ever organic process - a truly perpetual revolution. He wanted Fascism to grow and evolve and saw the repudiation of Marxism, and it's insistence that greivances arise from inequity, the way to ensure that. Gentile saw Fascism as a sort of organicism, or holism, in which the State was the pinnacle form of axiomatic expression for the individual - the State is all, no one exists outside the State. He, unlike Marx, saw the various private and public entities (be they syndicate or firm), as part of the whole of society. Society, according to Gentile, was the nation. The nation needed order and structure - from the State. And someone needed to administer the State to guard it (and, by extension, the nation and society) against distortion ans misuse - the Vanguard. Where a Marxist would have the private suppressed and absorbed into the public, Gentile believed that they were integral to the State, necessary even, but wholly within the State.
Much like good requires evil and day requires night, Gentile advocated a philosophy in which competing perspectives were integral to the whole of existence. Through this competition, the better and more appropriate perspective would arise with the time and culture that it represented. In this way, it is quite possible to conceive of a form Fascist regime that, although totalitarian, would have been relatively progressive, perhaps even relatively liberal, for the citizens therein (the contemporary United Kingdom springs to mind) depending on the circumstances of the times. This organic process, this integralist approach to national syndicalism, was the framework upon which Fascism was built.
It was this perspective that allowed Mussolini and Hitler to claim, not incorrectly, that their approach to governance was neither left nor right. It was syncretic. A union of the two. A third way, really.
IDW: what do you think of this description? Are there areas I can improve my explanation?
Ahhhh . . . . . . You have described the Federal Debt Plantation , very well . Since the understanding of citizenship has become so twisted and perverted by education and culture , there is no stopping this train wreck . The most effective form of slavery is that in which the slaves believe they are free .
Hello everyone. English is not my mother tongue, so I can't use big words like you all guys do. XD
Anyway, I've ditched the general notion that fascism is a far-right ideology ages ago. But, I was wondering if fascism could develop from neoliberalism, i.e., an extreme form of free-market capitalism. Maggie Thatcher very much endorsed this idea. While fascism is very much talked about with a strong emphasis on "state dominance", would it be possible that in a neoliberal country, private corporations like giant tech companies can have so much power over what people can do or can't do and have so much say in decision-making by the government of that country that they could grow authoritarian and ultimately totalitarian to control the entire nation? In that case, it's not so much state dominance but free market dominance.
I just wanted to throw in some things for consideration.
Orwell wrote in Politics and the English Language:
'The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable". The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. [...] Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.'
Note the phrase I bolded. For comparison, replace "defenders" with "attackers" and "a democracy" with "fascist".
Remember a list of characteristics of fascism that was circulating a few years ago and had supposedly been displayed at the Holocaust Memorial Museum? It was not officially displayed there, but at one time it was for sale in their store. It was a heavily modified version of an article in Free Inquiry magazine by Prof. Laurence Britt. Here's an interview with him. [findingfascism.com]. I post the url for this information only; it does not mean I endorse or approve anything else on that website.
I dunno ...
In all of my years of studying things like this, Fascism has repeatedly come out as being as Left as Socialism and Communism.
The mechanism is slightly different but it leads to the same outcome.
Another thing, did you actually write this using your own words or did you borrow this?
Seriously I read research papers and similar materials a lot ... I’ve studied and read LOTS of philosophical commentaries but ... I had to shake myself awake three times and go get coffee before I got to the end of your piece.
When I was a kid and got into discussions that were over my head, I’d adopt the concept of; Blind them with Brilliance or Baffle them with Bullsh*t ...
I’m not precisely sure what you’ve got going on here but I can tell you that had Hitler, Lenin, Marx, Mussolini, Franco, Mao Tse EVER tried to “think” these things ... never mind “express” them, we would never have had to actually fight them.
I had an interesting and somewhat frustrating discussion with a leftist when I told him that fascism is essentially a left leaning ideology. He nearly had a fit! I tried to explain in simple terms that, from an economical perspective, fascism championed private ownership of the means of production but that the state decided what was produced and how much - think Oscar Schindler's factory. In other words, state control of the means of production. Couple this with everything being in the interest of the state and a degree of ethno-nationalism and that's fascism.
Most if not all fascists began as communists/socialists - Mussolini, Gentile, Hitler.
When I also pointed out that the Nazis were of the "National Socialist and German Workers' Party" - he nearly exploded!
It was a sleight of hand by the post WW2 Soviets and the Western left leaning governments (Atlee in the UK and Truman in the US) that successfully re-branded fascism as right wing. This was possibly aided by the, by then, exiled members of the Frankfurt School who were embarked on their "long march through the institutions".