Fascism: A Quick Note

 

According to George Orwell, whom I am inclined to regard as close enough:

Learned controversies, reverberating for years on end in American magazines, have not even been able to determine whether or not Fascism is a form of capitalism. But still, when we apply the term ‘Fascism’ to Germany or Japan or Mussolini’s Italy, we know broadly what we mean.

My own working definition of Fascism, based upon reading significant early chapters of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, is a government which, failing to fall neatly into another category, seeks a relationship with children at the expense of those children’s relationship with their parents.  Well, it’s been a decade, so we’ll see. Unimaginable, right?

Rather than being a “form of capitalism” (whatever ‘capitalism’ is), I figure that fascism can only arise in a market economy, but does not exist while a free market still exists.  The term “Capitalist” is as justified as the term “Anasazi,” and just as welcome by those so called.

To me, it seems that Communism and Fascism are two heresies of Socialism, complete with big government power over everything it wants, including religion, industry, policy, markets, family, education, and so forth.  Communism has no religion or markets, whereas Fascism does; Fascism on the other hand, has no alternative religion — rather it identifies itself with an existing religious force.  Whatever, it’s all just so much jockeying for power. So adhering to the view that F and C are malignancies of S, and that all of these are leftist problems (“National Socialist,” after all), I think I may have struck upon the difference between Commie Socialists and Fascist Socialists — sharpness.

Communism is a bulldozer, whereas Fascism is a jackhammer.  Communism attempts to sweep all into its maw with wrenching philosophic changes — to each according to his need, from each according to his ability, and so forth. Fascism instead co-opts existing structures (built by others) to exert pressure on particular pain points within the body society.

Fascism is acute Communism. Communism is chronic Fascism.

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  1. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    BDB:

    Fascism is acute Communism. Communism is chronic Fascism.

     

    I like it.

    • #1
  2. Mackinder Coolidge
    Mackinder
    @Mackinder

    Not sure that this is correct, but I’ve been toying with it: Communism is an ideology. Fascism is a system. So they’re not opposites; rather they’re sort of a Venn diagram.

    • #2
  3. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.”– Benito Mussolini.

    • #3
  4. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.”– Benito Mussolini.

    and. – Joe Biden

              – Elilizardbeth Warren

              – Barak Obama

               – The Squad

    • #4
  5. John H. Member
    John H.
    @JohnH

    This is way too complicated.

    Here’s what fascism is: “totalitarianism we don’t like.” As opposed to totalitarianism we do.

    • #5
  6. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Maxine Waters knows what Fascist Socialism is. She even said it out loud and then realized she made an error.

    • #6
  7. MWD B612 "Dawg" Member
    MWD B612 "Dawg"
    @danok1

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.”– Benito Mussolini.

    This, plus instead of the State owning all means of production, the State uses corporations to enforce their will and carry out programs.

    For example, using credit card agencies to track who purchases firearms, ammo, etc., instead of using the ATF (because the ATF is not allowed to, in theory).

    • #7
  8. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    I’m toying with the idea that socialism and communism are diametrically opposed to one another.

    Socialism feeds off a natural impulse to care for your fellow man with the excess by means of the state confiscating the excess and distributing it to those in need.

    Communism seems far more invested in breaking down people’s connections to family, community, and nation and depriving them of all property, where the state owns everything and only gives out to all what is necessary.

    Fascism, who knows. I kid. I’m pretty confident that this involves some kind of cooperation between government and corporations to drive social behaviors among the people that the state desires.

    • #8
  9. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Communism has never been achieved and is the withering away of the government.

    Socialism is government ownership of the means of production.

    Fascism is private ownership of the means of production but companies doing what the government tells them to do.

    We are definitely a fascist country.

    • #9
  10. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Stina (View Comment):
    I’m toying with the idea that socialism and communism are diametrically opposed to one another.

    Nope.  Socialism is just a nicer face on tyranny.  Because human nature does not actually work the way socialists need it to work.  Ergo, people must be forced to “do what’s good for them”.

    Communism is upfront about forcing people to do what its system needs.

    Fascism redirects and covers up the coercion with the trappings of free markets, but still forces people to conform.

    • #10
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I sometimes think that the only significant distinction to be made is between centralized and decentralized government. 

    It doesn’t seem to matter what the wrapper says. Inside, it’s always about controlling other people and one person’s imposing his or her whims on others. And too many people with time and money on their hands and no life purpose other than to amuse themselves with craziness not related to procuring food, clothing, medicine, and shelter and helping others. 

    And I think this is the way it has always been since the dawn of recorded history. 

     

    • #11
  12. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I sometimes think that the only significant distinction to be made is between centralized and decentralized government.

    It doesn’t seem to matter what the wrapper says. Inside, it’s always about controlling other people and one person’s imposing his or her whims on others. And too many people with time and money on their hands and no life purpose other than to amuse themselves with craziness not related to procuring food, clothing, medicine, and shelter and helping others.

    And I think this is the way it has always been since the dawn of recorded history.

     

    This is why I’m so wary of any country playing global policeman (enforcing whose laws, btw? We separate those powers for a reason)

    Just accepting that is a valid role for a country to fill accepts a centralized global authority. No no no.

    • #12
  13. Kevin Schulte Member
    Kevin Schulte
    @KevinSchulte

    The definitions are muddied especially as far as the public is aware . It is thus because the left wants it thus . This way the left can accuse anyone on the right as being a fascist whilst the F or C away .

    The progs don’t care about the definitions . They are friends to both F and C because those tools will get them to there goal . Control or you !!!! 

    • #13
  14. John H. Member
    John H.
    @JohnH

    About political terminology, I am of two minds. Much of it is imprecise and that is bad. Yet who cares?

    Yesterday I was listening to Mexican radio, and the earnest souls behind the mike at UNAM were interviewing first someone in Brazil, then someone in Italy. Both places have or will have “ultrarightist” leaders. Apparently it is impossible to speak of “rightism” – nobody on that side is ever less than ultra. Also, Trump; and fascism. These words are mere interjections now. They do appear in sentences, but these are scarcely assembled into logical assertions which in turn could amount to what less excitable people would call arguments.

    The Italian interviewee did however say something you could have an argument about. He thought the EU needed more unanimity. Nobody really knows what an ultrarightist is, or for that matter what a central-leftist is, except that these exist on a weird rainbow of just two colors with a lot of empty sky in between. But unanimity? We all know what that means. Had the softball-pitchers at UNAM been capable of some chin music, they might have asked: “So, everybody needs to agree with you? Or everybody needs to disagree with you? Which is it?”

    • #14
  15. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    Perhaps Ayn Rand has the clearest definition of Fascism and Communism:

    If it were true that dictatorship is inevitable and that fascism and communism are the two “extremes” at the opposite ends of our course, then what is the safest place to choose?

    Why, the middle of the road. The safely undefined, indeterminate, mixed-economy, “moderate” middle—with a “moderate” amount of government favors and special privileges to the rich and a “moderate” amount of government handouts to the poor—with a “moderate” respect for rights and a “moderate” degree of brute force—with a “moderate” amount of freedom and a “moderate” amount of slavery—with a “moderate” degree of justice and a “moderate” degree of injustice—with a “moderate” amount of security and a “moderate” amount of terror—and with a moderate degree of tolerance for all, except those “extremists” who uphold principles, consistency, objectivity, morality and who refuse to compromise.

    Observe that both “socialism” and “fascism” involve the issue of property rights. The right to property is the right of use and disposal. Observe the difference in those two theories: socialism negates private property rights altogether, and advocates “the vesting of ownership and control” in the community as a whole, i.e., in the state; fascism leaves ownership in the hands of private individuals, but transfers control of the property to the government.

    Ownership without control is a contradiction in terms: it means “property,” without the right to use it or to dispose of it. It means that the citizens retain the responsibility of holding property, without any of its advantages, while the government acquires all the advantages without any of the responsibility.

    They are both Collectivists. Collectivists are not your friends.

    • #15
  16. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Blondie (View Comment):

    Maxine Waters knows what Fascist Socialism is. She even said it out loud and then realized she made an error.

    Boy, I’m not sure what was more potent.  What she said, or what she didn’t say when she paused for thought.

    • #16
  17. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Stina (View Comment):
    Socialism feeds off a natural impulse to care for your fellow man with the excess by means of the state confiscating the excess and distributing it to those in need.

    Mises proved that…

    “[A]ny attempt to alter the distribution of consumption goods must in the last resort depend on the power to dispose of the means of production.”*

    The means of production are labor, natural resources, and production products.  So socialism’s attempt to alter the distribution of the means of production implies that it owns the fruits of labor, which means that it effectively owns the laborer himself or herself.

    Anyone who is interested in the proof need only read a couple of paragraphs where the quote appears in the book.  The book is downloadable for free from Mises.org.

    *Excerpt From: von Mises, Ludwig. “Socialism.” Apple Books.

    • #17
  18. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Stina (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I sometimes think that the only significant distinction to be made is between centralized and decentralized government.

    It doesn’t seem to matter what the wrapper says. Inside, it’s always about controlling other people and one person’s imposing his or her whims on others. And too many people with time and money on their hands and no life purpose other than to amuse themselves with craziness not related to procuring food, clothing, medicine, and shelter and helping others.

    And I think this is the way it has always been since the dawn of recorded history.

    This is why I’m so wary of any country playing global policeman (enforcing whose laws, btw? We separate those powers for a reason)

    Just accepting that is a valid role for a country to fill accepts a centralized global authority. No no no.

    Perhaps not “a country,” but I think a consortium of countries is a good idea to enforce sovereignty issues and prevent genocide and mass migration into refugee camps that don’t exist and that the international community cannot afford to build. And there exists the International Court of Justice to render judgments on conflicts between countries, such as that between Ukraine and Russia. In fact, Russia is a member. There’s no excuse for Putin not to use the civilized world’s existing and longstanding institutions to protect human life, both in Russia and Ukraine. Russia, as one of the three super powers, has a responsibility to behave in a way worthy of the authority he has.

    Putin is holding the entire world hostage with his nuclear arsenal. The world must respond in unison against him and his barbarism. There should have been, and still should be, a unanimous united front against his invasion of a neighboring sovereign country.

    The issue of defense against outsiders is different, I think, from governments’ domestic fascist, socialist, communist, and capitalist-republican internal governments.

    • #18
  19. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    I try to keep in mind the differences between capitalism and free market.  

    • #19
  20. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I sometimes think that the only significant distinction to be made is between centralized and decentralized government.

    It doesn’t seem to matter what the wrapper says. Inside, it’s always about controlling other people and one person’s imposing his or her whims on others. And too many people with time and money on their hands and no life purpose other than to amuse themselves with craziness not related to procuring food, clothing, medicine, and shelter and helping others.

    And I think this is the way it has always been since the dawn of recorded history.

    This is why I’m so wary of any country playing global policeman (enforcing whose laws, btw? We separate those powers for a reason)

    Just accepting that is a valid role for a country to fill accepts a centralized global authority. No no no.

    Perhaps not “a country,” but I think a consortium of countries is a good idea to enforce sovereignty issues and prevent genocide and mass migration into refugee camps that don’t exist and that the international community cannot afford to build. And there exists the International Court of Justice to render judgments on conflicts between countries, such as that between Ukraine and Russia. In fact, Russia is a member. There’s no excuse for Putin not to use the civilized world’s existing and longstanding institutions to protect human life, both in Russia and Ukraine. Russia, as one of the three super powers, has a responsibility to behave in a way worthy of the authority he has.

    Putin is holding the entire world hostage with his nuclear arsenal. The world must respond in unison against him and his barbarism. There should have been, and still should be, a unanimous united front against his invasion of a neighboring sovereign country.

    The issue of defense against outsiders is different, I think, from governments’ domestic fascist, socialist, communist, and capitalist-republican internal governments.

    You can’t at one time think centralization is bad AND support a global policing.

    • #20
  21. WilliamDean Coolidge
    WilliamDean
    @WilliamDean

    Stina (View Comment):

    I’m toying with the idea that socialism and communism are diametrically opposed to one another.

    Socialism feeds off a natural impulse to care for your fellow man with the excess by means of the state confiscating the excess and distributing it to those in need.

    Communism seems far more invested in breaking down people’s connections to family, community, and nation and depriving them of all property, where the state owns everything and only gives out to all what is necessary.

    I prefer this description I remember reading years ago: Socialism always ends with the government taking everything you own at the point of a gun, while communism always starts with the government taking everything you own at the point of a gun.

    • #21
  22. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    WilliamDean (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    I’m toying with the idea that socialism and communism are diametrically opposed to one another.

    Socialism feeds off a natural impulse to care for your fellow man with the excess by means of the state confiscating the excess and distributing it to those in need.

    Communism seems far more invested in breaking down people’s connections to family, community, and nation and depriving them of all property, where the state owns everything and only gives out to all what is necessary.

    I prefer this description I remember reading years ago: Socialism always ends with the government taking everything you own at the point of a gun, while communism always starts with the government taking everything you own at the point of a gun.

    That seems right where I think it is.

    • #22
  23. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Stina (View Comment):

    WilliamDean (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    I’m toying with the idea that socialism and communism are diametrically opposed to one another.

    Socialism feeds off a natural impulse to care for your fellow man with the excess by means of the state confiscating the excess and distributing it to those in need.

    Communism seems far more invested in breaking down people’s connections to family, community, and nation and depriving them of all property, where the state owns everything and only gives out to all what is necessary.

    I prefer this description I remember reading years ago: Socialism always ends with the government taking everything you own at the point of a gun, while communism always starts with the government taking everything you own at the point of a gun.

    That seems right where I think it is.

    I recall, “Socialism is Communism by the glass.”

    • #23
  24. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Stina (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I sometimes think that the only significant distinction to be made is between centralized and decentralized government.

    It doesn’t seem to matter what the wrapper says. Inside, it’s always about controlling other people and one person’s imposing his or her whims on others. And too many people with time and money on their hands and no life purpose other than to amuse themselves with craziness not related to procuring food, clothing, medicine, and shelter and helping others.

    And I think this is the way it has always been since the dawn of recorded history.

    This is why I’m so wary of any country playing global policeman (enforcing whose laws, btw? We separate those powers for a reason)

    Just accepting that is a valid role for a country to fill accepts a centralized global authority. No no no.

    Perhaps not “a country,” but I think a consortium of countries is a good idea to enforce sovereignty issues and prevent genocide and mass migration into refugee camps that don’t exist and that the international community cannot afford to build. And there exists the International Court of Justice to render judgments on conflicts between countries, such as that between Ukraine and Russia. In fact, Russia is a member. There’s no excuse for Putin not to use the civilized world’s existing and longstanding institutions to protect human life, both in Russia and Ukraine. Russia, as one of the three super powers, has a responsibility to behave in a way worthy of the authority he has.

    Putin is holding the entire world hostage with his nuclear arsenal. The world must respond in unison against him and his barbarism. There should have been, and still should be, a unanimous united front against his invasion of a neighboring sovereign country.

    The issue of defense against outsiders is different, I think, from governments’ domestic fascist, socialist, communist, and capitalist-republican internal governments.

    You can’t at one time think centralization is bad AND support a global policing.

    I do think exactly that. Two different things.

    Even domestically I think communities and individuals need to protect themselves against evil and criminals.

    Are you saying that the only way to protect ourselves is to have strong centralized fascist communist socialist governments?

    • #24
  25. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    Defining fascism isn’t rocket science.  First, read Mussolini’s The Doctrine of Fascism (available for free here). Second, read Ur-Fascism by Umberto Eco (available for free here).

    It boils down to unlimited supremacy of the executive branch of government.

    i.e. The key characteristics of a fascist are:

    1. Frustration with the power of legislatures and judges to obstruct executive action.
    2. Frustration with the idea that force should only be used in defense. They have zero scruples using force to impose their will on their citizens or on other countries.

    In other words, they want a Caesar. This is why they appropriated the symbol of Imperial Rome’s authority, the fasces (depicted up there on the right), as their own.

    The minutia of the particular economic preferences of the Caesar in question are largely irrelevant. After all, being supreme, the Caesar can change their mind whenever he/she/they/it feels like it.

    Furthermore, “Caesar” need not be a single person. What matters is the supremacy of the executive branch as an institution.  That’s why the term “liberal fascism” isn’t an oxymoron, since it refers largely to the unelected authorities (both inside and outside of the official government) who claim de facto (if not de jure) supremacy over constitutions, judges, and/or elected legislatures in the name of “liberalism” (i.e. their preferred definition of liberalism).

     

    • #25
  26. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):You can’t at one time think centralization is bad AND support a global policing.

    I do think exactly that. Two different things.

    Marci, you may be right.

    But it would be challenging to separate them in practice.  I think you would find that the cops need to have one ultimate leader to be effective, just like other forces of men under arms meant for a single purpose.

    • #26
  27. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    Communism=Facsism=the Democratic Party.

    • #27
  28. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Misthiocracy has never (View Comment):
    Defining fascism isn’t rocket science. 

    True.  Get 10 random people in a room, and 11 of them are able to do it. 

    • #28
  29. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):You can’t at one time think centralization is bad AND support a global policing.

    I do think exactly that. Two different things.

    Marci, you may be right.

    But it would be challenging to separate them in practice. I think you would find that the cops need to have one ultimate leader to be effective, just like other forces of men under arms meant for a single purpose.

    Cops don’t need a single leader. They are fine working under their local governments.

    I do not see any difference between an ideal nonfascist state operation and what we have now in terms of law enforcement, courts, and international relations. One does not necessitate the other, although governments have been extorting their citizens to the contrary ever since towns first formed.

    A good friend of mine is a stockbroker who loves to make people laugh when he says, “Governments were invented during the Middle Ages. A band of thugs would come into town and steal all of the farmers’ crops. But the next year when the same thugs returned, the crops had already been stolen by an opposing band of thugs. So the first thugs offered to protect the town from the second band of thugs in exchange for nearly all their crops. Hence, government.” :-)

    In a nonfascist state, local police would handle local threats; state police would handle state threats; interstate threats would be handled nationally; and defense against other nations or terrorists would be handled nationally or internationally. Just as these matters are handled now.

    I do not think we have to be communists or socialists or fascists to defend ourselves.

    • #29
  30. Misthiocracy has never Member
    Misthiocracy has never
    @Misthiocracy

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    Communism=Facsism=the Democratic Party.

    Technically, communism aspires to the elimination of the state entirely.  Fascism does not.

    However, since the elimination of the state is impossible, communist states are unavoidably also fascist.

    This is why commies can sorta kinda get away with saying that Stalinism and Maoism weren’t “real communism”, but rather were just different varieties of fascism (or, at they prefer to phrase it, “state capitalism”).

    The commies are sorta kinda right, but only because “real communism” isn’t possible.

    • #30
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