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  1. #11
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    I will respond to this thread when I have finished reading Liberal fascism by Jonah Goldberg.... give me a few days :P .

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    I will respond to this thread when I have finished reading Liberal fascism by Jonah Goldberg.... give me a few days :P .
    So have any thoughts? I really haven't read that, mostly because I sense it's another attempt in this trend to link a political belief you don't like to "fascism". Another example of what I'm talking about is Chris Hedges' American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. Whatever one thinks about the Christian Right, they're not facists.

    As to the original topic, there are actually legitimate ties between fascism and the political Left. The term "fascism" itself was used by Italian labor unions in the late 19th century. Need we forget that Mussolini was originally a radical socialist until the outbreak of WWI.

    Probably the most famous example of what one would term "Left Fascism" historically would be that of the Strasser brothers, who were Hitler's rivals for control over the Nazi party. You could also add Ernst Niekisch and his National Bolshevik party. There are factions among Neo-Fascists that follow the ideals of these men, and perhaps come closest to representing a "Left Fascism" in the true sense of the term.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    So have any thoughts? I really haven't read that, mostly because I sense it's another attempt in this trend to link a political belief you don't like to "fascism". Another example of what I'm talking about is Chris Hedges' American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. Whatever one thinks about the Christian Right, they're not facists.

    As to the original topic, there are actually legitimate ties between fascism and the political Left. The term "fascism" itself was used by Italian labor unions in the late 19th century. Need we forget that Mussolini was originally a radical socialist until the outbreak of WWI.

    Probably the most famous example of what one would term "Left Fascism" historically would be that of the Strasser brothers, who were Hitler's rivals for control over the Nazi party. You could also add Ernst Niekisch and his National Bolshevik party. There are factions among Neo-Fascists that follow the ideals of these men, and perhaps come closest to representing a "Left Fascism" in the true sense of the term.
    Nah, the book attempts to give a balanced perspective on how fascism has manifested historically and in modern times. However, one of the key things is that few people agree on just what fascism is defined as. I, for one, don't appreciate the political definitions much (fascism, socialism, communism, etc.). They are just measly ways for people to define systems that don't and never have existed purely in their own right. Every system in history has been a mix of different shit, so the definitions almost seem arbitrary in a way.

    With that said, the book portrays fascism as being a movement of the people. I'm only about 1/4 through the book, but I've got some thoughts about it. It is a system that originally tried to separate itself from ties to the left or right, and tried to be the "3rd way". While communism was particularly focused around class struggles (some being nationalist), socialism around internationalism, the fascist movement was centered around nationality and nationalism (populist), and primarily STATOLATRY.

    Musolini's fascist movement was very much antisimetic towards christians, but not toward jews until Germany took them over. Still, racism and religious persecution present in Musolini's fascism was not nearly as great as it was in Hitler's Nazism. Nazism and Fascism were very much alike, but Nazism mainly differed in being a movement about race, which evolved from the fascist nationalist attitude. In other words, the strong emphasis on a peoples defined by the state, with power, culture, value systems, and even religious beliefs descending from it. All people are beholden to the state. There are no individuals, only the collective and the good of the collective. Nazism, however, was based largely on Hitler's power as per the typical totalitarian leanings of socialism, communism, and fascism. Thus, the whole movement of the people and the country was led by him and his views. Since he was a pathological antisemite, Nazism followed in that direction, seperating itself from what might otherwise be defined as fascism.

    Hitler proclaimed himself (and the movement/Nazism) to be a national socialist. It was, in effect, a combination of socialism and nationalism. Socialism in that day tended to be international in scope, reaching out to people of equal class across the globe. Fascism and Nazism constrained there movements to being within the state. Both Germany and Italy were socialist before the rise of Hitler and Mussolini.

    Now Musolini's fascism was clearly defined as such in his time. Musolini was very much anti Catholic/Christian, but Jews were just fine until the Nazi takeover. Stalin and his communism were also very antisemitic towards religion in general. One of the defining points of fascism is being a movememnt of the people for centralized power in the state, a movement of ACTION. The state has the mandate to determine what is right and wrong, what is just, and what the rights of the individual are. There are no freedoms in the individual unless granted to them by the governmental power. This is a stark contrast to our CORE government that was based on people having inalienable rights from GOD, such that the belief in God amongst the people meant that their basic rights and freedoms were secure through this belief that permeated both the public and the elected officials.

    With fascism, however, the state takes the place of religion and God. People look to the government and political leaders to tell them what is good and bad. It's a system that is beholden and accountable only to humans. Fascist movements in the 20's were also accompanied by the belief in "science" as the guiding light; science vs. religion. With fascism, everything the state decides to do would be based on settled "science" that was "indisputable". These are taken to religious levels and used to move the people, much in the way they abandoned Marxism as a guidance for policy, but adopted it as prophecy to lead the people. These movements were brought about during a period of history when people were seeking new spiritual perspectives, and trying to break away from the old religious dogma. This movement perhaps started in the U.S. and spread around the globe. However, society needs a cohesive value system that keeps them together. Otherwise, society falls apart in discord and anarchy. People need to agree upon core beliefs/values and need to be subject to a system of social order that applies to everyone. In America, you had all sorts of nationalities, races, and religions brought together under one country. However, we had our laws based on fundamental human rights and freedom of religious expression, as well as an American culture that applied to everyone who came to this land. On top of that, most of the religions have similar core beliefs. Without such a prevalent religious culture in society, humans will gravitate to another system to keep them in order. In the absence of religion and the invariable allowance for SELF GOVERNANCE, the only option left is in being ruled by the government (where it is either combined with religious philosophy or replaces it). The government must be the one to take the place of religion in society, and that's how it went down in fascistic movements. One man or one central government should be the leader of the people to keep them Inarguably, that's what's happening today...

    In these movements, only the leader need be the use of democracy. The leader is the one who represents the general will of the people, by always doing what is "right", "forcing men to be free." The good intentions of the government are all that is needed, without representative democracy. Musolini even wrote about fascism as being a religion itself, "Italianism", giving the fundamental direction for their lives. Fascism seeks to enter every nook and cranny in the lives of the people to control through the state. Nothing is too small to be controlled by the state. This was also applied through military force to keep the population in line.

    Fascism points-

    • becomes totalitarian
    • mobilizes society like an army
    • calls for spiritual rebirth
    • needs great revolutionary leaders
    • relies on unified , manufactured myths
    • holds contempt for parliamentary democracy
    • the ruler and the state are one
    • non-Marxist socialism
    • nationalism
    • statoralist
    • spiritual calling for military expansion
    • makes politics into a religion
    • hostile towards individualism
    • indoctrinates the youth
    • maintains permanent sense of crisis/emergency (war against _) to short circuit debate and democratic deliberation.
    • large scale nationalization/regulation of industry


    Those are my thoughts so far. I'm currently going over Wilson and his administration, a frighteningly fascistic tale.

  4. #14

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    :snaps gum:

    You fellas need to get out more.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    :snaps gum:

    You fellas need to get out more.
    Is that really the nugget of intellectual deliciousness that you gained from this thread? :P

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Is that really the nugget of intellectual deliciousness that you gained from this thread? :P
    Nope, but it seemed the most helpful one.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  7. #17
    Member mbeerti's Avatar
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    Thank you for starting this thread, Peguy. I've been doing some reading in the area as well. I'll let you know when I have a better formulated opinion...

    Risen, I quite agree!

    "Fascism points-

    * becomes totalitarian
    * mobilizes society like an army
    * calls for spiritual rebirth
    * needs great revolutionary leaders
    * relies on unified , manufactured myths
    * holds contempt for parliamentary democracy
    * the ruler and the state are one
    * non-Marxist socialism
    * nationalism
    * statoralist
    * spiritual calling for military expansion
    * makes politics into a religion
    * hostile towards individualism
    * indoctrinates the youth
    * maintains permanent sense of crisis/emergency (war against _) to short circuit debate and democratic deliberation.
    * large scale nationalization/regulation of industry


    Those are my thoughts so far. I'm currently going over Wilson and his administration, a frighteningly fascistic tale. "

  8. #18
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    Interesting post Risen. It'll take me some time to fully collect my thoughts together to respond. It's just one of those days.

    First, yes there's more than enough problems trying to define what "Fascism" really is, or even if "Fascism" is really even the appropriate generic term for this political phenomena. Heinrich Himmler actually once gave a speech saying that National Socialism(Nazism) had little to do with Fascism. Fascism largely focused on the nation, while Nazism focused on race. Even in regards to the state, they differed. Fascism placed greater emphasis on the state, while Nazism placed race over the state.

    A very good source on this is John Lukacs' The Universality of National Socialism (The Mistaken Category of 'Fascism').

    As for "fascism" and religion; that's a complicated matter. Yes at first, Mussolini's Fascist movement was radically secularist and even saw itself as a religion in itself. However, over time, it sought an uneasy relationship with Catholicism. The Fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile even once remarked that to be Fascist is to be Catholic.

    Now with Hitler and the Nazis, it's more complicated. They basically had their concept of "Positive Christianity", which largely meant a non-denominational concept of the German nation as a Christian society. Basically the denominational distinctions between Protestants and Catholics were to be swept aside. Although in most contexts, the Nazis showed more preference for Protestantism over Catholicism - Hitler expresses this in Mein Kampf. This was even true with the "Pagans" of the Party. Alfred Rosenberg, the main pagan intellectual among the Nazis, actually spoke fondly of Martin Luther for spiritually liberating the Germans from Roman influences. There's more references to Meister Eckhart(a medieval German Christian mystic) in Myth of the 20th Century than to Nietzsche.

    I'll have to continue this another time. It'll be interesting to discuss more in-depth the intellectual origins and characteristics of fascism.


    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    :snaps gum:

    You fellas need to get out more.
    I'm hibernating til spring.

  9. #19
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Could you be more specific???
    Sorry. I cannot.
    It is better to leave the text alone. It is manic, hysterical.

    The only thing one could do is to start from the bottom. To write one's own thesis.
    The old left and the old right love their old lies. They only repeat them to no end.
    We see it in this example of Peguy.

    What has the West done in Darfur? Nothing.
    Nobody defends Pol Pot, or Hitler. They are beyond the pale.
    Sihanouk opened the door for Pol Pot.
    True. Why was he pushed to do it?
    Kissinger was the worst advisor a president ever had.
    He never saw the situation in a country. The situation of a country is not outside of the country. The situation of Cambodia was not in America.
    Castro opened the door for the Soviet missiles in Cuba. Why he was pushed to do it?
    To see the other side is not to accept it.
    It is to understand it.

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