Last updated on August 14, 2021
I am so absolutely sick and tired of the never ending debate on Fascism. What is it? No really, what IS it? Where did it come from?
Every political system is somehow an outgrowth or response to one that came before it. Either as an antithesis because some philosopher couldn’t stand the other system, or as a refinement of something they actually believed. Before we can discuss politics, we have to define terms. This is terribly hard because no one can agree.
Take the “political spectrum” for example. There are several versions, but the one almost universally referenced is has the left at one end and the right at the other, diametrically opposed. This results in another problem, how do we define “left” or “right” wing? Many people would claim that the left wishes to progress, ever changing for the better, while the right wishes to conserve, maintaining those good institutions that we are used to. Uh oh! Yet another problem arises. Progressing and conserving are useless terms. They have no morality of their own. Progressing toward what? Conserving what? If I reach a cliff and keep progressing, I’ll eventually fall off. If my house is engulfed in flames, but I stay to try and conserve it, I’m probably going to ge burned.
To put it simply, I hate most political labels. They very rarely describe what you actually believe and cause people to put each other in comfortable boxes that they then go about trying to smash. My own personal political spectrum, although still simplistic, is one with individual freedom at one end and collectivism/totalitarianism at the other. Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein wrote:
“Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.“-Robert Heinlein / The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
The next most important tool in defining Fascism is to look at where it came from. Much like when we examine the 2nd Amendment and want to understand the context, we read the writings of the Founding Fathers who drafted it. So, to define Fascism, we go to Benito Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile in their tract “The Doctrine of Fascism”. There are plenty of other writers who influenced Fascism, but the Italian state was the first to put it in practice, this we start there.
The only time I’ve ever seen this tract referenced in an analysis of Fascism was in a couple videos by Eric D. July (aka YoungRippa59 on Youtube). Here are the videos in question:
Strange how when Progressives try to define Fascism they don’t actually go to the source. You’d almost think they were trying to hide something. So, let’s take a look at the basic principles from The Doctrine of Fascism along with supporting text from the document. I’m sure people will claim I’m cherry picking, but it doesn’t matter. I linked the entire tract above, read it for yourself. Let’s get started.
(note: When using political terms in the analysis below, I follow current definitions for simplicity sake. Although, as described above, I may disagree with those definitions)
The Fascist State as described in The Doctrine of Fascism is:
Spiritualistic (the State as Religion) – “In the Fascist conception of history, man is man only by virtue of the spiritual process to which he contributes as a member of the family, the social group, the nation, and in function of history to which all nations bring their contribution.”
Anti-individualistic – “The Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State…”
Totalitarian – “The Fascist conception of the State is all embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism, is totalitarian, and the Fascist State — a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values — interprets, develops, and potentates the whole life of a people.”
“No individuals or groups (political parties, cultural associations, economic unions, social classes) outside the State. Fascism is therefore opposed to Socialism to which unity within the State (which amalgamates classes into a single economic and ethical reality) is unknown, and which sees in history nothing but the class struggle.”
(note: Mussolini’s critique of Socialism is one of organization and tactics, not intent)
“The only doctrine of which I had practical experience was that of socialism, from until the winter of 1914 — nearly a decade.”
(note: Mussolini admits his roots lie within socialism)
“A party governing a nation “totalitarianly” is a new departure in history. There are no points of reference nor of comparison. From beneath the ruins of liberal, socialist, and democratic doctrines, Fascism extracts those elements which are still vital.”
(note: this paragraph is a contradiction. Mussolini claims there is no way to compare Fascism to other doctrines but then claims it has extracted the best elements of each)
“The keystone of the Fascist doctrine is its conception of the State, of its essence, its functions, and its aims. For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative. Individuals and groups are
admissible in so far as they come within the State. Instead of directing the game and guiding the material and moral progress of the community, the liberal State restricts its activities to recording results. The Fascist State is wide awake and has a will of its own. For this reason it can be described as “ethica.”
Nationalistic – “In so far as it is embodied in a State, this higher personality becomes a nation. It is not the nation which generates the State; that is an antiquated naturalistic concept which afforded a basis for 19th century publicity in favor of national governments. Rather is it the State which creates
the nation, conferring volition and therefore real life on a people made aware of their moral unity.”
Collectivistic yet Right wing – “We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the “right,” a Fascist century. If the 19th century was the century of the individual (liberalism implies individualism) we are free to believe that this is the “collective” century, and therefore the century of the State.”
(note: this may be where we get the idea that Fascism is “Right wing”. However you will note that Mussolini’s definition of that term means the power of that state rather than the
individual. He denounces socialism yet endorses collectivism. He is not anti-socialist at his core, he simply believes in the State as a whole rather than the idea of class struggles. In his world view,
the right and left are both wings of totalitarianism)
Regulatory – “Since 1929 economic and political developments have everywhere emphasized these truths. The importance of the State is rapidly growing. The socalled crisis can only be settled by State action and within the orbit of the State. Where are the shades of the Jules Simons who, in the early
days of liberalism proclaimed that the “State should endeavor to render itself useless and prepare to hand in its resignation”? Or of the MacCullochs who, in the second half of last century, urged that the State should desist from governing too much? And what of the English Bentham who considered that all industry asked of government was to be left alone, and of the German Humbolt who expressed the opinion that the best government was a lazy one? What would they say now to the unceasing, inevitable, and urgently requested interventions of government in business?”
Revolutionary & Progressive – “If liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government. The Fascist State is, however, a unique and original creation. It is not reactionary but revolutionary, for it anticipates the solution of certain universal problems which have been raised elsewhere…”
(note: Reactionary vs. Revolutionary is an alternate way to say Conservative vs. Progressive. In modern thought, Fascism is considered Reactionary or Conservative, i.e. wanting to return to the ‘good ole days’. Mussolini rejects this idea and describes Fascism as a Revolutionary or Progressive ideology)
“A nation, as expressed in the State, is a living, ethical entity only in so far as it is progressive. Inactivity is death.”
Imperialistic – “The Fascist State expresses the will to exercise power and to command. Here the Roman tradition is embodied in a conception of strength. Imperial power, as understood by the Fascist doctrine, is not only territorial, or military, or commercial; it is also spiritual and ethical. An imperial nation, that is to say a nation which directly or indirectly is a leader of others, can exist without the need of conquering a single square mile of territory. Fascism sees in the imperialistic spirit — i.e., in the tendency of nations to expand — a manifestation of their vitality. In the opposite tendency, which
would limit their interests to the home country, it sees a symptom of decadence. Peoples who rise or
re-arise are imperialistic; renunciation is characteristic of dying peoples. The Fascist doctrine is that best suited to the tendencies and feelings of a people which, like the Italian, after lying fallow during centuries of foreign servitude, are now reasserting itself in the world.”
As with most incoherent political ideologies, there are nuggets of truth to be found in The Doctrine Of Fascism. There are also nuggets of truth in The Communist Manifesto, yet those on “our” side adamantly reject both. Just because one is nationalistic does not mean he is a Fascist, no more than one being an internationalist makes one a Communist. Political thought is much more complicated than that.
Most of the quotes above are nothing but drivel used to justify a new form of totalitarian regime. Mussolini and Gentile may have actually believed it, or they could have just been pandering to the masses of post World War 1 Italy in hopes of gaining power for themselves. True Believers, Useful idiots. It doesn’t really matter. The simple fact is that Fascism is a collectivistic totalitarian system that is in direct opposition to almost everything “we” believe. To call us Fascists is to show your own stupidity and lack of critical thinking.
Marxism and Fascism are brothers that haven’t gotten along since the day they were born. Yet, these two brothers are both bullies and terrorize the neighborhood they live in. One brother asks all the kids in the neighborhood to side with him in their self-destructive battle. The other asks the same. And many of us are dumb enough to take sides and argue over which one is the least evil.
-Matt Wilbanks (Editor @ Dailyresister.com)